Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 OWT Short Fiction Competition 1

Today, we’re pleased to announce that four people will receive prizes, but sorry that almost 600 others have been disappointed along the way. We’ve ried to make our decisions as fairly and diligently as possible, but disappointing news isn’t nice to receive or deliver. We take comfort in knowing that with so many brilliant entries, the authors who didn’t get the breaks in our competition this year will no doubt have success placing their stories in other markets.

But, now, here’s the happy bit… this year’s judges – Senja Andrejevic-Bullock, Phil Bowne, and D.D. Johnston – have made their decisions.

It’s worth explaining the way we do the final round of judging: each judge independently ranks the anonymised short-listed entries from one to twelve, with one being their favourite; then we add the scores together and the lowest total wins. This means there’s a possibility of a tie, and for the first time this has happened: we had a tie for third place, and so we’ve decided to split that prize.

So, on this occasion, our four winners are:

Joint 3rd place (£12.50 each): Beatrice Hughes and Lorna Wood

2nd place (£50): Mina Ivosev

1st place (£100): Hannah Whiteoak

Congratulations to all of the above; they will receive their prize money this week. In a close contest, Hannah Whiteoak clinched first place with her short story “Piece of My Heart,” a daring speculative piece that finds an original way to speak about love and relationships. It made me think of Lacan’s famous formulation of love as “giving something you don’t have to someone who doesn’t want it” – you’ll have to read the story to see what I mean! It’s an exciting winner for the judges to have chosen because in previous years the winning stories have been broadly realist and have often relied for their excellence on technical accomplishment more than concept. “Piece of My Heart” is a real humdinger and we’re thrilled to be publishing it on this site in the coming days.

Thank you again to everyone who entered – judging hasn’t been easy, but it has been a treat.


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