As part of our commitment to encouraging new short fiction, we’re presenting a cash prize for the best story in each of our anthologies. The prize is judged by the contributors themselves, each of whom gets one main vote, and one secondary vote to be used in the event of a tie. The amount of the prize will vary, but the Various Authors prize is £200.
We did run into one little snag, though: despite the use of the secondary vote, we still wound up with a three-way tie. Jon Wallace, Matthew Licht, and Ben Lyle all received the same number of main and secondary votes.
Rather than toss a (three-sided?) coin, we decided to call in a special celebrity guest judge. Who better for this than respected book blogger and Twitter gadabout John Self, keeper of The Asylum?
John was kind enough to read the three stories and select the winner for us. I’m therefore pleased to announce that the winner of the Various Authors Prize is… Ben Lyle, for ‘Crannock House’. Here’s what John said:
I liked it because it surprises the reader’s expectations and doesn’t explain everything, and despite its short length, it manages to be a complex and affecting portrayal of two characters covering a long period of time without seeming rushed.
So, congratulations Ben. Speech! Speech!
And what do other people think of the winner? Any other favourites?