Monday, November 23, 2009

Bridport congrats...and...flash!

It's just wonderful to know people who win things, especially things as fabulous as the Bridport Prize for short stories, which receives thousands of entries every year. Last year, my great friend Elaine Chiew was the winner, the year before, Vanessa scooped second place. And this year I am delighted to see three names I know in the winners of supplementary prizes: huge congratulations to Anna Britten, Nicholas Hogg and Teresa Stenson! And there are more familiar names in the shortlist: Jill Widner, Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Kate Clanchy (whose stunning VS Prichett prize-winning story I just read in Prospect), D Norris. Of course, enormous congratulations to the winners, Jenny Clarkson,  Natasha Soobramanien and N Nye, it's a fantastic achievement, especially with a judge whose short stories are as breathtaking as Ali Smith.

And there's more.... did the eagle-eyed spot an addition to the Bridport Prize website for 2010? On the side menu, under Short Stories and Poetry is...

Flash fiction!!!

This makes me very very very happy. It says something about the status of flash fiction, for one, since this is the world's richest open writing prize (open because it doesn't require an entrant to have been previously published, and it is judged anonymously), and it also thrills me personally since flash fiction is what I love to write and love to read - and it takes the pressure off all those of us who don't write stories that are longer than 1000 words or so. The judge hasn't been announced yet... will keep you updated.  Yippee!!

Addendum: I just saw that Regi Claire, whose short story collection, Fighting It, we reviewed in The Short Review and who is published by Two Ravens Press, is shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Awards, Scotland's major literary awards, alongside AL Kennedy, whose short story collection What Becomes is on my review pile,  and Janice Galloway, whose Collected Stories is also waiting for me. Congratulations, Regi, and more power to the short story!


Vanessa Gebbie said...

It has been a brilliant occasion this year. And simply lovely to see that the Bridport Lit Fest is numbered in the top ten lit fests in the Uk by the Guardian!
Worth fighting to get tickets next year...the events are small but stunningly good.

Jills said...

Thank you for the mention, Tania. It's the longest shortlist ever, but I feel tremendously honored. Ali Smith!

Rachel Fenton said...

Wow, how good is that? Flash fiction prize, here I come!

Tania Hershman said...

V - sorry, forgot all about the Festival, how wonderful, I am putting it in the diary for next year!

Jill, it's not a long shortlist when you think that there were 14,000 entries between short stories and poetry, don't diminish your achievement!

Rachel, exciting, eh? More ways I can force you to send your stories out :)

Teresa Stenson said...

Tania - only just saw this, thanks so much for mentionning me. I've written a blog post about the whole weird and glorious day.

I actually thought of you when they announced the Flash category at the prize giving. The 2010 story judge is Zoe Heller.