2016/ 2017 short story prize

The longlist announcement

It's been some year. Deciding which stories should make it has been a long, painful process. If you aren't on our lists, don't despair. There were many, many fine stories that almost made it. And it was a blast reading them. We had over seven hundred submissions this year, with stories covering everything from marital disfunction to shape-shifting to drug-addled road trips. We saw fantasy, sci-fi, heartbreaking realism, absurd comedy, furious politics...

Like last year, the number of stories told in second person was surprising. Perhaps less surprisingly, there was a marked increase in End Time narratives and post-apocalyptic settings. Refugees made appearances. So did diasporas.

From noisy, big-band stories - rich in drama, uproar, or twisted imaginings - to quieter pieces, the overall quality of work was again exceptional. All of the stories were read with keen interest. Getting the number down even to 200 was hard. And after that, to 80, and then 45, then 20, on to the final 13... As one of our judges commented, it was a reminder of just how simultaneously inspiring and miserable judging and the selection process can be...

Pain

One of the agonies was that there were many stories bursting with talent that didn't make it through thanks to issues with editorial - things such as overly-long endings, or one aspect or another that wasn't quite gelling... We have to judge the stories as finished works - and what this has meant is that some remarkable writing has fallen by the way side. (But we will be emailing a few of you soon to have further discussions and maybe run stories in our Singles Club, so all is not lost...)

Joy!

But that's enough pain. What about our final thirteen? They take in strange supermarkets, ominus parcels, school plays, internet trolls, love, loss, hate, fear, animals, children. Some showcase straight, high quality, storytelling. Some are radical and unusual. All of them are excellent.

The bit about us

Also, on another happy note, this prize is a big part of our publishing year.  First and foremost, because it's invigorating: Reading the stories is wonderful. We find many new - and varied - writers through the prize, some of whom we've gone on to work with. One of the novels we're releasing this year comes from a one of last year's longlisted writers, and we have a long-term project we're hoping to realise with another. Others will be published before too long in our Singles Club.

It's also a great way to showcase some new talent - and help writers get noticed. We got a lot of interest from agents and editors last year - and were really pleased to help writers get representation. We're hoping the coverage by the Bookseller of the winning author this year should only further help with this...

And, of course, the prize matters to us financially. Of the 750 submission entries, a healthy amount of the fees go towards admin, various design costs and paying the judges (except Sam and Elly, who don't get paid!). The rest is dedicated solely towards publication costs of the kind of authors we support: those with huge talent and literary ambition, who might not otherwise (in an environment with huge commercial pressures) see themselves published. So by submitting to the prize, you are supporting your fellow authors - and us. THANK YOU. 

And extra gratitude and kudos to the following talents. First, we are proud to present our longlist, in alphabetical order, by author surname:

Gordon Collins, War In A Babylon

Hilary Dean, Resurrection

Amber Higgins, Little Moon

Paul Jones, Patterdale

Fiona J. Mackintosh, Interstate

Malachi McIntosh, Limbs

Linda McVeigh, Back Seat

Yelena Moskovich, Marlene or Number 16

Tom Perrin, Gnomechomsky

Henrietta Rose-Innes, The Second Law

Richard Smyth, Something Was Being Broken

T. Schroeder, And Our Land And Will Yield Its Harvest

Joanna Walsh, Hasard Objectif

 

And special mentions also go to:

Ghillie's Mum – Lynda Clark

No Thief - Carol Farrelly

Coffee And Jazz – Neil Griffiths

Happiness – Kit Maude

Sweatshop – Alexandra Mendelsohn

Scrubber - Valerie O’Riordan

The Furnace Throne - Friðrik Sólnes Jónsson

Dead Yard – Maria Thomas

Don't Ever Bring Me Fish - Clare Weze

 

We're so pleased!

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Call for submissions

 

How to enter

To enter the award, there are two simple steps:

  1. Attach your story, together with a covering page detailing your name, contact details, and the title of the work, using the widget beneath these notes, at the bottom of the page.
  2. Hit 'add to cart' and your submission will then be added to the Galley Beggar Store shopping basket. Go to that basket and pay the £10 fee using Paypal.

We encourage online submissions. Those who need to post their submissions should first email info@galleybeggar.co.uk.

(Galley Beggar Press are offering 25 free entries to writers on a low income, who would not otherwise be able to afford to enter the prize. These entries will be offered on a first come, first serve basis, and at the discretion of the directors. If you are eligible for one of these entries, please in the first instance contact: elly@galleybeggar.co.uk)

Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize, 2016/2017

Our short story competition is back! Hundreds of stories were sent to us in our wonderfully successful first year (2015/2016), and we're hoping for even more this time around. It was just a great way to spot new talent, engage with new writers - and a fine way to introduce readers to new voices, too. 

This year, we have a new set of judges. We're proud to say that Sarah Crown, Alex Pheby and Chris Power will be joining Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison from Galley Beggar HQ. 

We're raising the prize money to £1000  - and we're keeping the alternative prize of year-long editorial support, which is what our 2015/2016 winner, Ríona Judge McCormack, chose. Working with Riona on her first novel has been a delight. She's a serious talent, and since she won the inaugural GBP Short Story Prize we've been thrilled to watch her go from strength to strength: back in May, Riona won the prestigious Hennessy Irish Writers Award, and she's also now on board with Jack Ramm at the Eve White Agency (an excellent agent at a super, conscientious company). 

We're also very happy to say that the winner of the prize will be given a detailed profile and interview in The Bookseller, the leading industry magazine, accessed by over tens of thousand of publishing professionals around the world each week.

Entry will still cost £10. We wish we could do this for free, but alas, administration costs don't pay for themselves. We have tried to help things along in other ways though: this year, there will be 25 free entries available to those on low-incomes (offered on a first-come, first-served basis - and after emailing elly@galleybeggar.co.uk). The longlisted and shortlisted stories will still be offered online at a price of £1 each (out of a firm belief that good writing deserves payment) - but 50% of the income from these publications will now be passed on to the authors. (As to where the other 50% goes: that's for the short story covers, and distribution costs. There isn't much change after that...)

... We can't wait to get rolling. The prize has been one of the best things we've done. It was exciting, invigorating - a fantastic way of confirming our faith in the talent out there. We're also happy to say that quite a few of the other writers on our shortlist of last year, as well as Riona, have gone on to find agents and publication deals. (Including Gonzalo Garcia, one of our 2015/2016 longlistees whose terrific debut - We Are The End - we'll be publishing in 2017.) 

You will find further information below. Meanwhile, if you want to see what happened last year, click on this archive page.
 

Long-lists, short-lists readings and prizes

  • The deadline for submissions is midnight of the evening of 30 September 2016.
  • On Friday 6 January 2017,  a longlist of 10–12 stories will be announced.
  • On Friday 27 January 2017 a short-list of 4 stories will be announced.
  • On 17 February 2017 the winner will be announced on the Galley Beggar website - followed by a profile in The Bookseller. 
  • The winning author will be invited to choose from a cash prize of £1000 or year-long editorial support from the directors of Galley Beggar Press. (See the terms and conditions for full details.)

In addition, the stories of the longlisted, shortlisted, and winning authors will be published as part of the Galley Beggar Singles Club, and on 11 March 2017 a celebratory event will be held in London, with the longlisted and shortlisted authors invited to read from their work.  

Further submission information and dates

  • Submissions must be no longer than 6,000 words, and the cost of entry for each short story is £10.
  • Submissions of six short stories or more will receive a year's free subscription to Galley Beggar Press Singles Club.
  • The deadline for submissions is midnight of the evening of 30 September 2016.
  • By entering this award, you accept the terms and conditions.
  • To submit your stories, please refer to the instructions above.

Judges

The judges for this year’s award are Sam Jordison, Eloise Millar (the co-directors of Galley Beggar Press), the acclaimed novelist Alex Pheby, and journalists and writers Chris Power and Sarah Crown.

 
SARAH CROWN
Sarah Crown is the former editor of mumsnet.com and guardian.co.uk/books and one of the best, most-respected and most-loved literary journalists in the UK.
 
ALEX PHEBY
Alex Pheby was born in Essex and moved to Worcester in his early childhood. He currently lives with his wife and two children in London, where he teaches at the University of Greenwich. His first novel, Grace, was published in 2009 by Two Ravens Press. His second novel, Playthings – about the life of the German judge Paul Schreber – was published in 2015 by Galley Beggar Press. Widely acclaimed in media from the Guardian to the New York Times, and called “the best neuro-novel ever written” in the Literary Review, Playthings was recently shortlisted for the 2016 £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize.
 
CHRIS POWER
Chris Power’s A Brief Survey of the Short Story has been appearing in the Guardian since 2007. He writes about books for the Guardian, the New Statesman and elsewhere. His fiction has been published in The White Review, The Dublin Review and The Stinging Fly. He lives in London. 

SAM JORDISON and ELOISE MILLAR
Sam and Eloise spent over a decade in publishing and the media before they founded Galley Beggar Press in 2012. Since its inception, Galley Beggar Press authors and books have been longlisted, shortlisted, and the winners of over 20 of the world’s most prestigious literary awards – including the Folio Prize, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Dylan Thomas International Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Wellcome Book Prize, the Desmond Elliott First Novel Award, and the Gordon Burns Prize for Fiction. Short story award listings include the EFG Sunday Times Short Story Prize, the Tom Gallon Award, the Saboteur Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize.
 

 

 

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