Julian Gough has been announced as the winner of this year’s National Short Story Prize, with David Almond named as runner-up. Julian Gough will receive £15,000 — the largest award in the world for a single short story — for “The Orphan and the Mob.” Almond will see £3,000 for “Slog’s Dad.” The three remaining authors on the shortlist — Jonathan Falla, Jackie Kay and Hanif Kureishi — will each receive £500.

Announcing the winners, Chair of the judges, broadcaster and writer Mark Lawson, said that “from a shortlist which included an impressive range of subjects, settings and styles, the judges were unanimous in awarding the first prize to Julian Gough. The comedy, energy and originality of both plot and voice set him ahead of the other contenders. David Almond was a very strong runner-up for the accuracy of his dialogue and psychology in a story which managed the difficult task of combining reality and fantasy.”

You can read full details here.

One thought on “Who Said Short Fiction Doesn’t Pay?”

  1. I should add that it’s worth clicking on the link [to this peice] as there was a bit of a storm in a teacup in the UK vis-a-vis one of the stories – which is detailed in Mark Lawson’s reply here –

    The inclusion on the shortlist of Hanif Kureishi’s story, ‘Weddings and Beheadings’ has aroused some controversy. Mark Lawson, Chair of judges, issued this statement:

    “The judges regarded Hanif Kureishi’s story as a serious treatment of a new and horrific phenomenon. Some people will feel that sensitive and controversial material should never be the subject for fiction; we felt that the question to be asked is whether the writer is simply operating shock tactics or using fiction to explore events which are to most people unimaginable. For us, the story does the latter and deserved its place on a shortlist of five.

    “We did not believe that Kureishi intended any recognisable reference to any single actual incident in the Middle East, or that one can be read into the story. It’s perhaps also important to say that the story was written, first published and initially judged before the disappearance of Alan Johnston.”

    Nevertheless, BBC Radio 4 has chosen not to broadcast Hanif Kureishi’s story as a courtesy to the journalist’s family.”

    Lawson wrote in The Guardian about this issue :-


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