“These regular anthologies ... are becoming essential volumes for fans of short fiction.”

— Scott Pack

New Ghost Stories IV
And Nothing Remains

Today we’re announcing the latest winner of the Fiction Desk Writers’ Award.

Although we’ve recently stopped running writing competitions (here’s why), the Writers’ Award is something a little special. It’s awarded to the best story in each anthology, as voted for by the contributors themselves. As well as getting the thumbs-up from their fellow writers, the winner also receives £100.

In the case of our latest anthology, And Nothing Remains, we have a tie between two stories: ‘Thirteen Wedding Dresses’ by Douglas Bruton and ‘All Washed Up’ by Chris Hogben. To break the tie between these two very fine, and very different, stories, we’ve asked our previous contributor S R Mastrantone – now writing as S R Masters – to cast a deciding vote. Over to you, Simon:

And Nothing Remains is an extremely strong collection, and it is unsurprising that this issue’s Writers’ Award came down to a tie. I found plenty to admire about Douglas Bruton’s ‘Thirteen Wedding Dresses’, an optimistic story on the unifying meaning of objects that had an exceptional sense of place. In the end I chose Chris Hogben’s ‘All Washed Up’, which grabbed me from the opening sentence right up until the final moving image of a man drifting in and out of visibility beneath street lights. Chris’s voice is confident and compelling, and the first section of dialogue between the friendly bear and Tommy was very funny and incredibly clever.

So congratulations are due to Chris Hogben (and to Douglas Bruton, for running him such a close race), and thanks to Simon for casting the deciding vote. Now it’s time to get back to work on our next anthology…

(If you’re wondering how to enter a story for the Writers’ Award, it’s simple: just submit your work to our anthology series. All the stories we publish are entered automatically to the competition.)