Updated: Jan 29, 2019
We were overwhelmed by the number of entrants to our short story competition, and, to be honest, we hadn't expected so many people to submit to us. We had to rejiggle our deadline so that no one missed out, and then we had to reconsider our announcement date so that we could fully examine every single entrant in detail.
We had the briefest of micro, the most tantalising of flash, and world-building short stories, all of them with scope for a novel yet brilliantly constrained to their forms, revealing just enough to touch us.
We kept our longlist anonymous, but once we had managed to trim it down to a shortlist we had to share the authors' names so that they could have some public recognition for their amazing work. As well as our final winners, the shortlist and longlist are both still available on our 'Short Story Competition' page, so do take a gander.
Our judge Lesley Glaister chose our final winners, but there was very little to separate first from second and third from second. Our shortlist, including the honourable mentions, will be published in our competition anthology, but congratulations to our winners, whose work was chosen as best out of so many entries.
Our micro fiction winner is 'Fingers Crossed' by Sandra Davies is 300 evocative words of a night by the sea. Lesley enjoyed "the physicality of this, the air of danger and strangeness, yet a kind of cosiness too within the marvellously described beach house. The final line lends a lovely enigmatic twist."
Benjamin Newgard's 'Time for Dancing' is our flash winner, which Lesley found to be "a very moving story, powerful yet delicately understated." A boy and his brother find some solace in a cinema from their fighting parents.
The "really excellent" 'You Are Not Baba Yaga' by Michael Fertik scooped the winning prize for the short story. Lesley said "this voice grabbed me immediately -- amusing, intelligent, sparky. There's great rhythm and snap to this writing." A Russian girl exerts an unshakeable pull on the helpless narrator.
Congratulations again to our incredible winners, and to everyone that shared their work with us. We'll be keeping you updated as the collection goes into production. It's been an amazing opportunity to read your work and to keep the best for our own!