Announcing the 2019 OWT Short Fiction Prize long list Reply

With almost 600 entries to consider, selecting our favourite 10% was never going to be easy. But the decisions this year have been especially difficult, as the standard of entries is the best we’ve ever seen. We’re thrilled to have attracted such a range of excellent fiction, sent to us from six continents. As always, we’re delighted that our long list features a mix of multi-published, award-winning authors and exciting new voices.

senja-profile (2)     Phil Bowne      dd johnston waterstones

 

Our judges this year are Senja Andrejevic-Bullock, Phil Bowne, and D.D. Johnston. Senja is a playwright, lecturer in dramatic writing, and also a widely published author of short fiction. Phil is a television and fiction writer for The Wombles – a forthcoming children’s TV show and book series – whose first novel Cows Can’t Jump was recently awarded the Spotlight First Novel Prize. He’s represented by the SP Agency and his short fiction has been published in the UK, US and Canada.  D.D. Johnston is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershrie and the author of three novels.

We’ve picked a longlist of 60, but we could have picked any of several hundred high-quality stories, so commiserations to those who didn’t make the cut this time. These decisions are subjective, and luck plays a big part too; it always seems to me that if the previous story made the list then the next story up for consideration is at a disadvantage. You need a lot of skill to be placed in a writing comp, but you need a bit of luck too. In that way, I guess writing comps are more like poker than chess.

Anyway, congratulations to the following authors, listed in alphabetical order by surname. Next up, we’ll be narrowing this esteemed field down to a shortlist of 12, which we’ll publish on this website on Monday 15th July.

Penelope Aaron
Matthew Alberswerth
Eunice M. Amero
Nana Adwoa Amponsah-Mensah
Colleen Anderson
L.Shapley Bassen
Stanley Bloom
Kim Botly
Gina Burgess
Jeff Bakkensen
Laura J. Campbell
Elinor Clark
Paul B. Cohen
Bryan Costales
Elizabeth Edelglass
Elizabeth Edwards
Jann Everard
Maria Garcia
Joe Giordano
Isobel Granby
Atar J Hadari
Andrew Hanson
Mohammed Hidhayat
Beatrice Hughes
Mina Ivosev
D.M. Kerr
Yancy Lael
Monique Lennon
Scott Levy
Vivian Li
Gargi Mehra
Jennifer Moore
Hillard Morley
Samantha Louise Nepomuceno
Carolin Neupert
Frances Ogamba
Godsent Okere
Daniel Paton
Darya Protopopova
Emma Pickering
Celine Piser
Amanda Poythress
Jeffrey G. Roberts
Joshua Sastre
R. A. Savary
Jay Seate
Elena Sichrovsky
C.L. Spillard
Nick Sweeney
Indrani Talukdar
Mike Todd
Matias Travieso-Diaz
Alexander Xavier Urpí
Lili Vaskó
Christine Venzon
Yuliia Vereta
Hannah Whiteoak
Megan Wildhood
Janine Mick Wills
Lorna Wood
Noemi Yanko

Announcing the shortlist for the 2018 OWT Short Fiction Prize Reply

First there were over 600, then there were 70, and now there remain just twelve. Twelve good people and true. Our dirty dozen. Choosing just 12 finalists from our 70 favourite entries has been hard. We were tempted to publish another list of all the pieces we wanted to squeeze onto the shortlist and couldn’t, but it would have been pretty much the same as the longlist.

The 2018 shortlist includes established names and emerging talents. It features two people who were shortlisted for the 2017 prize, which is a pretty amazing achievement on their part. One of those authors, Nathan Alling Long, was last year’s eventual winner. Can anyone dethrone the reigning champion? Find out, here, on Monday 16th.

  1. Pax Chmara
  2. Bari Lynn Hein
  3. Amarachi Iheanyichukwu
  4. Jen Knox
  5. Monique Lennon
  6. Nathan Alling Long
  7. Jennifer Moore
  8. Hillard Morley
  9. Yong Takahashi
  10. Alexander Xavier Urpí
  11. Hannah Whiteoak
  12. Grace Wynter

story-prize-poster-2018

Story structure example: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (tip 81) 1

Some years ago, former-US President George W. Bush named The Very Hungry Caterpillar as his favourite childhood book. Unfortunately, it wasn’t published until he was 23 and fresh out of Yale. Still, while it’s not advanced post-graduate reading, it does have a perfect structure, from which we can learn a lot.

read video transcript

Ian McEwan’s ‘Psychopolis’: Imagery, subject, theme (tip 80) Reply

In this video, D.D. Johnston discusses how imagery is often the connecting point between subject and theme (for a reminder about subject and theme, see writing tip 71). He looks at Ian McEwan’s short story ‘Psychopolis’ and presents a weird theory about Magpies. Psychopolis is available here, starting on page 52.

read video transcript