In which we share the latest news from The Fiction Desk, including upcoming publications, writing competitions, and other odds and ends.
Tuesday, 31st May 2016. Comments are closed.
It’s time to announce the winners of the 2016 Ghost Story Competition.
Since our ghost story competition first launched in 2013, it has become an increasingly important part of our anthology series. As well as providing much of the material for two volumes of ghost stories, it has introduced us (and our readers) to some great new voices in short fiction. Perhaps it has also helped us to find our editorial identity, which might be said to lie somewhere in the curious territory between supernatural fiction and realism. (It might also be said to lie entirely elsewhere, of course: like readers, publishers shouldn’t try to define their tastes too rigidly.)
Today, though, we’re dealing firmly with the supernatural, and we have first, second, and third prizes to be awarded within a shortlist of fifteen stories. The three winners will receive £500, £250, or £100, while all fifteen shortlistees will receive a three-volume subscription to our anthology series.
Let’s start then with the shortlisted stories, whose authors will be receiving our next three anthologies in the mail:
- Sean Baker: Grantchester Meadows in the Summer at Dawn
- Kate van der Borgh: For Those Who Love
- Bethan Hutt: Jack and Me
- Jerry Ibbotson: The Intruder
- Seth Marlin: The Dead Lie Dreaming
- Amanda Mason: Apotropaic
- David McVey: Last Bus to Carnshee
- Karyn Millar: The Key to all Mythologies
- Dan Purdue: A Simple Favour
- Guy Russell: Beneath the Skin
- Andrea Stephenson: The Last Bus Home
- Ailsa Thom: A Rational Explanation
- Josie Turner: 27 Exposures
- Barney Walsh: The Crypt beneath the Library
- David Webb: The Charm
And now the winners:
- In first place (£500 prize): Barney Walsh: The Crypt beneath the Library
- In second place (£250 prize): Jerry Ibbotson: The Intruder
- In third place (£100 prize): Seth Marlin: The Dead Lie Dreaming
Congratulations to all of the above writers. I’ll be getting in touch with you over the next week or so to arrange prizes and discuss publication of the three winning entries, which will appear in our autumn anthology, the third volume in our New Ghost Stories series.
The next edition of our ghost story competition will open for entries on 1st November 2016. Keep an eye on the competition page for more details over the next few months.
Friday, 25th March 2016. There is 1 Comment.
It’s time to present the Fiction Desk Writer’s Award for our latest anthology, Long Grey Beard and Glittering Eye.
If you’re not familiar with the Writer’s Award, this is a a special £100 prize awarded to the best story in each of our anthologies, as judged by our contributors. Each writer with a story in the volume casts two equally weighted votes, which are then totalled up to reveal the winner.
This time, we had two stories tie for the award: Mark Newman’s ‘Before There Were Houses, This Was All Fields’, and Adam Blampied’s ‘The Cobble Boys’. In cases like this, we invite a guest judge to break the tie. As both stories have something to do with our relationship with the built environment, the obvious choice was Alex Clark, whose own story ’The Stamp Works’ won the Writer’s Award for There Was Once a Place.
Here’s what Alex had to say:
“I was gripped by ‘Before There Were Houses…’, and I loved the analogy between the construction of landscape and the construction of the human heart. The writing is multi-layered and packed with elegant metaphors. It’s such an engaging read. In the end, though, I’ve chosen ‘The Cobble Boys’. It’s so assured that I believed completely in its world. It’s vivid, brutal and authentic, and has some important things to say about the weight of history. It’s left a lasting impression on my mind.”
So it’s congratulations to Adam Blampied for winning the Fiction Desk Writer’s Award for his story ‘The Cobble Boys’, and to Mark Newman for giving him such a close race.
Look out for Alex Clark’s new story, ‘Poor Billy’, coming in our next anthology.
It’s time to reveal the winners and shortlist of the 2016 Fiction Desk Newcomer Prize.
This year, there’s a shortlist of twelve stories, including the two winners. All shortlisted writers will receive a year’s subscription to our anthology series, and there’s £500 for the first place, and £250 for the second. Let’s start with the shortlist:
- Positional Asphyxia by Lucy Apps
- The History Lesson by Kate van der Borgh
- Gardening Leave by Dan Brotzel
- Stay by David Frankel
- An Internship by Todd Van Horn
- The Song of Stephen by Frances Knight
- Watching a Girl You Might Have Loved Get Dressed to Work the Bars by Elias Lindert
- Two Pounds, Six Ounces by Hannah Mathewson
- Renaissance Man by James Mitchell
- Memento Mori by Richard Newton
- Splitting Miles by Claire Parkin
- Slice by Imogen West-Knights
And the winners are:
- In first place: Renaissance Man by James Mitchell
- In second place: Splitting Miles by Claire Parkin
Congratulations to all of the above winners, and thank you again to everybody who took part in the competition. I’ll be contacting the winners and shortlistees over the next two weeks to arrange prizes, and the two winning stories will appear in the next Fiction Desk anthology.
The Newcomer Prize will open again for entries towards the end of the year. Our annual ghost story competition is open now, and you’ll find more details of that one here.
Friday, 31st July 2015. There are 2 Comments.
It’s time to announce the winners of our 2015 Flash Fiction Competition.
Once again, the high standard of entries means that we’re announcing a shortlist. All shortlisted authors will receive a three-volume subscription to our anthology series, starting with volume 9 (coming in August).
The three winners will also receive cash prizes, and their stories will appear in an anthology later this year.
Let’s start with the complete shortlist. There are ten stories, presented here in alphabetical order by author:
- The Last Day – S E Craythorne
- Wood – Tracy Fells
- Nuclear Family – Jenny Harding
- Two-Timer – F J Morris
- Five Toes, and So On – Dan Purdue
- The Trouble With Men – Andy Shearer
- Memories – Ian Shine
- Beat the Brainbox – Mike Scott Thomson
- That Buzzing Inside My Head – Ren Watson
- Youth – Liz Xifaras
And now for the winners…
The third prize (£50) goes to:
- Freya Morris, for Two-Timer
The second prize (£100) goes to:
- Mike Scott Thomson, for Beat the Brainbox
And the first prize (£300) goes to:
- Ren Watson, for That Buzzing Inside My Head
Congratulations to all of the authors listed above, and thank you to all of you who took part in our flash fiction competition this year. I’ll be getting in touch in the next couple of weeks to arrange subscriptions and prizes.
We received a great batch of entries this year, and to acknowledge this we’re going to announce a shortlist as well as our three winners. All of the shortlisted writers will receive a year’s subscription to our anthology series, and the three winners will appear in an upcoming Fiction Desk anthology.
Let’s start with the complete list of shortlisted stories:
My Body Upstairs by Frank Babics
Poor Billy by Alex Clark
One Green Bottle by Leah Eades
Mrs Dabrowski by Gilli Fryzer
Things in the Dead Space by Jo Gatford
Soup — Condensed by Anabel Graff
Laptops and Coffin Lids by Sara Kellow
Every Ghost Story is a Love Story by Vera Kurian
A Rooted Sorrow by Norma Levinson
Sing Me No Sad Songs by Amanda Mason
Home Solutions for Mould by S R Mastrantone
Jonathan by Louis Rakovich
The Fowling Piece by Stephanie Shaw
And now for the winners, in reverse order:
In third place (£100): Poor Billy by Alex Clark
In second place (£250): Home Solutions for Mould by S R Mastrantone
And the winner of the 2015 Fiction Desk ghost story competition, in first place (£500): Soup — Condensed by Anabel Graff
Congratulations to all of the above, and thank you all for sending in such great stories and making my job very difficult. I’ll be getting in touch over the coming weeks to arrange the shortlistees’ subscriptions and winners’ prizes.
Now a little bad news (or good news, depending on your tastes): we won’t be doing a dedicated ghost story anthology this year. Thanks to our slightly erratic “when it’s ready” publication schedule, we’ve swung quite heavily in the direction of supernatural fiction lately, with two of our last three anthologies being dedicated to it, and we do need to rebalance that a little. It also strikes me that it’s a bit odd to try breaking down genre barriers by bringing in ghost stories, only to then segregate them into their own volumes.
As a result, the above three winners will be appearing in one of our regular, mixed-genre anthologies, which should benefit both the volume they grace, and those among our subscribers who prefer their ghosts as part of a more balanced literary diet.
Tuesday, 10th March 2015. There are 2 Comments.
It’s time to announce the Writer’s Award for our latest anthology, New Ghost Stories II.
The Writer’s Award is one of my favourite things about running The Fiction Desk. The Award is given for each anthology that we publish, and is judged by the contributors themselves: each contributor votes for what they think are the two best stories, and the writer of the winning story gets £100.
The votes for New Ghost Stories II are in, and the winner this time is…
… Tamsin Hopkins, for her short story ‘The Table’.
Congratulations, Tamsin! The virtual cheque is in the digital post.
You can read the winning story (well, all the stories) in New Ghost Stories II, out now in paperback and Kindle editions: see here for details.
Monday, 16th February 2015. There are no comments.
The Newcomer Prize received a fantastic selection of entries, touching on a variety of themes, ideas, and styles, and has therefore been exceptionally tough (and rewarding) to judge. But judged it has been, and I’m now delighted to announce the two winners of the 2015 Newcomer Prize.
The winners are:
First place (£500 prize): Mark Newman, for the story ‘Before There Were Houses, This Was All Fields’.
Second place (£250 prize): Tim Dunbar, for the story ‘David Bowie’.
The two winning stories will be published in our next anthology, due this spring. They’re both excellent stories, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.
Sunday, 8th February 2015. There are no comments.
We hadn’t originally planned on announcing a shortlist for the Newcomer Prize, but during the judging process it became clear that simply revealing the two winners wouldn’t do justice to the quality and variety of entries we received. We’ve therefore added a shortlist step, along with some small extra prizes.
The winners of the 2015 Newcomer Prize will be drawn from the following shortlist:
Adam Blampied: The Cobble Boys
Tim Dunbar: David Bowie
K M Elkes: Game Face
Uschi Gatward: On Margate Sands
Gerald R Gore: Memories of Balham
Cathie Hartigan: Cleaning Up
C G Menon: Spring Tides
Norman Miller: Jellymen
Mark Newman: Before There Were Houses, This Was All Fields
Miranda Prag: Under the Wheels
Catherine Simpson: The Little Golden Apple with the Tiny Golden Bite
Amy Smith Linton: Cleaning Up
A J Stirling: Property is Theft
Chloe Turner: The Bronze Garden
Barney Walsh: Free the Prisoners
All of the authors above will receive a year’s free paperback subscription to our anthology series.
We’ll be announcing the first and second prize winners — taken from the list above — on Monday 16th February. The two prizewinning stories will also appear in an upcoming Fiction Desk anthology.
Friday, 15th August 2014. There are 4 Comments.
Hot on the heels of our Writer’s Award announcement, it’s time to reveal the winners of the 2014 Fiction Desk Ghost Story competition.
This year, we have one first prize winner and ten runners-up.
All of the stories listed below will appear in our autumn anthology.
The runners-up, who will each receive £100, are:
- Alice Adams, for ‘Watching Kate & Gustav’
- Die Booth, for ‘Twice a Day with Water’
- Lucinda Bromfield, for ‘The Time of Your Life’
- Bernie Deehan, for ‘Hell for Leather’
- Tamsin Hopkins, for ‘The Table’
- Matthew Licht, for ‘The Bear Got Me’
- Amanda Mason, for ‘Incomers’
- Miha Mazzini, for ‘Armies’
- Matt Plass, for ‘Next to Godliness’
- Melanie Whipman, for ‘End of the Rope’
And the winner of the £500 first prize is:
- Jane Alexander, for ‘In Yon Green Hill To Dwell’
Congratulations to all of the above. It was another great year for the ghost story competition, and once again we’ve found ourselves handing out more prizes than expected.
We’ll be sharing more news about the autumn anthology over the coming weeks. Next month will also see the launch of a new competition (one we’ve not run before), so keep your eyes out for that.
Friday, 15th August 2014. There are 5 Comments.
Today we’ll be announcing the results of not one but two competitions.
Later, we’ll be revealing the winner and runners-up of our 2014 ghost story competition. But we’re starting with the Writer’s Award.
The Fiction Desk Writer’s Award is given for the best story in each of our anthologies. It’s judged by the contributors themselves, who each get two votes.
The votes for There Was Once a Place ended in a draw, with Alex Clark‘s ‘The Stamp Works’ and Chris Fryer‘s ‘The Loop’ both in first place. Last time this happened, we called in The Asylum’s John Self to decide the winner. For this volume, our special guest tie-breaking judge is none other than author (and Fiction Desk contributor) Charles Lambert, whose new novel With a Zero at Its Heart is one of 2014’s must-reads. So over to Charles:
It’s a tough decision, because the stories are so different and have such different aims, so that what it comes down to is, finally, a question of personal choice. There’s much to admire in ‘The Loop’ – it’s inventive, intelligent, thought-provoking — but I’d choose Alex Clark’s story. It’s cleanly written, beautifully handled — the risk with this kind of tale is always to over-egg the cake with one special effect too many, and she resists that admirably. It’s rooted in believable detail and surprisingly moving. I liked it a lot.
So it’s congratulations and £100 to Alex Clark, winner of the Fiction Desk Writer’s Award for her story ‘The Stamp Works’. And it’s thanks to Charles Lambert for taking the time to break our tie.
You can read ‘The Stamp Works’, along with Chris Fryer’s excellent story and all the others, in There Was Once a Place. And don’t forget to check out Charles Lambert’s With a Zero at Its Heart too. Both books are out now in all the usual paperback and ebook formats.