Tuesday, August 23, 2005

National Short Story Prize

The world's largest award for a short story will be unveiled at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this week.

The winner of the National Short Story Prize will receive a windfall of £15,000 with the runner-up pocketing £3,000.

In what organisers hope will one day grow to the size and prominence of the Booker Prize, the competition aims to honour the country's finest writers of short stories so is only open to authors with a previous record of publication who are either UK nationals or residents.
More from William Lyons in The Scotsman.
The shortlist of five stories will be broadcast on Radio 4 next March ahead of the winner being announced in May. The winning stories will be published and distributed free by Prospect magazine.

The new award will also be the centrepiece of a UK-wide campaign 'story' that will be launched in conjunction with the prize. The campaign is a joint venture managed by Booktrust and the Scottish Book Trust, the national agency for readers and writers.
I can't yet find a web link for the Award itself - but will post any further information as soon as possible.

Update: Thanks to Scott Mathewman (see comments) for finding the link.

Also, there was an interesting article about short stories by Aida Edemariam in The Guardian yesterday.
The British attitude to the short story - that it is somehow lesser, a practice space for the real thing, which is, of course, the novel; that you can perhaps start out writing a collection of stories, but you have somehow failed if you don't graduate to a minimum of 200 pages - has always baffled me. I cannot comprehend the underlying assumption that a particular kind of stamina is somehow better, of more value. It's like privileging the marathon, or the 1,500m, over the 100m.

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