Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best British Short Stories 2012 Wants To Hear From You!

I mentioned a while ago that Best British Short Stories is back, resurrected by my publisher, Salt Publishing, and edited by Nicholas Royle. He has just finalised the list of stories for the first edition, the 2011 edition, which will be published in April 2011 (see the list here - I'm delighted that it includes No Angel by Bernie McGill, which I chose as 2nd prize winner in the Sean O'Faolain competition), quite a mammoth task, he is to be applauded! And now he wants to know what British short story writers are up to this year.

Similar to the Best American Short Stories model, Royle will be reading stories that have already been published between Jan and Dec 2011. He told me he wants short stories published "anywhere, could be in American publications or wherever. And not just literary mags – anthologies, newspapers, online etc." But before you get excited and start firing off your beautiful publications to him, he cautions: "People need to be selective, ie not like I was when sending to Giles Gordon & David Hughes for Best Short Stories, way back." If all of us bombard him with everything we have published this year, he will be swamped. So wait, think about it, be choosy. And check out the anthologies Nicholas has already edited (to start with, read The Short Review's review of '68: New Stories from Children of the Revolution).

And then, when you're ready, send them to:
n.royle@mmu.ac.uk or hard copies to Nicholas Royle at Manchester Writing School, Geoffrey Manton Building, MMU, Rosamond St West, Manchester M15 6LL
Good luck!

Addendum: As the lovely and generous Rachel Fenton pointed out in the comments, you could also recommend someone else's story!

16 comments:

Judy Croome said...

Can Commonwealth authors submit, or is it only for UK writers?

And is there any maximum word length?

Judy (South Africa)

Tania Hershman said...

Hi Judy,
it's British writers only, I believe. Not sure if it's about being resident in the UK or having UK citizenship. If that might apply to you, why not drop Nicholas Royle a line?

Judy Croome said...

Thanks anyway Tania, while my sister and her family live half in UK, half here, and all have British citizenship, I'm born in Zimbabwe, but registered as South African citizen. :)

Judy (South Africa)

Nahno McLein said...

Thank you. Too bad I haven't gotten my latest short story published yet.
Nahno

marthawilliams.org said...

Thanks for sharing this, Tania. Looks wonderful. What's the timeframe for submissions? Do the stories have to be 2011 publications?

Rachel Fenton said...

That's a generous thing. I thought it was going to be ahout recommending other people's stories!

Tania Hershman said...

Nahno, there's the whole of 2011 to get your story published!

Martha, I believe they do have to be 2011 publications, it will be the Best of 2011.

Tania Hershman said...

Rachel - you are clearly more lovely than me, yes of course you can recommend other people's stories! I'm sure Nicholas would be delighted if you did!

writehandstokie said...

I am having my first short story published in March. Should I wait until after publication to enter? The magazine concerned has purchased 1st British serial rights.

Tania Hershman said...

Hi writehandstokie, yes it's published stories only, so do wait until after publication.

nicholas said...

Glad of the interest in the series. It's for British writers only. Not wishing to be exclusive, but you have to draw the line somewhere and the publishers wanted to make it Brit writers only to match a similar volume for poetry already in the pipeline. By British writers I mean those holding UK citizenship, not residency. So British writers living overseas publishing stories in 'foreign' publications are absolutely fine. If Martin Amis published a story in the New Yorker it would be eligible, but if Margaret Atwood had a story in the Sunday Times mag it would not be.

I'll be reading all copies of Ambit, London Magazine, Prospect, the Sunday Times mag, the Warwick Review and various other publications anyway, so there's no real benefit to anyone sending me stories that might appear in any of those. I'd be reading Stand and Granta if they bothered to respond to requests for comp copies.

Since this post went live yesterday I've had several submissions from people who have not quite understood that the 2012 volume, for which I will be reading stories throughout 2011, is for stories first appearing in 2011, so any stories that appeared in 2010 or 2009 or earlier have missed the boat.

Could I restate a point Tania made, which is to suggest that people don't send stories indiscriminately, but exercise some judgment. I have edited 13 or 14 anthologies, some of which are easily available secondhand if no longer in print, and the first volume in the new series will be out in April. That will give a very good idea of my taste. These things are, after all, very subjective.

Nahno McLein said...

Oh I see. Well then I better get onto it. Thank you.
Nahno ∗ McLein

Lyndsay Wheble said...

Does publsihed on a blog count for 'published online'?

Tania Hershman said...

Lyndsay, if it is a blog-based literary magazine with an editor, then I imagine so. If it is your own personal blog then no, I'm afraid it doesn't for this anthology. It would count as "published" for a competition, say, that called for unpublished stories. Complicated, eh?!

alice bates said...

Hello Tania, my first book 'Desert Wells' was published by Darton Longman and Todd in February, and is a collection of ten short stories. I was so proud that Jane Williams (wife of Rowan) wrote my Foreword, but I'm very new at this, not having been published before. How do I go about submitting a story, and what about length etc? Best regards, Alice Bates

Tania Hershman said...

Hi Alice, congratulations on your new book! I was only passing on this message from Nick Royle so the best thing is to get in touch with him directly, all his details are in the blog post.