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

— Scott Pack

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New Ghost Stories IV
There Was Once a Place

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.

5 Comments on “Announcing the Writer’s Award winner for There Was Once a Place

  1. Dan Purdue Says:

    Congratulations to Alex and commiserations to Chris. Both excellent stories.

  2. Alex Clark Says:

    Utterly surprised and very proud to have my story placed alongside Chris’s in the results – The Loop is wonderful. It’s a real honour.

    Many thanks to The Fiction Desk, to everyone who voted for The Stamp Works, and to Charles Lambert for his inspiring comments. I can’t quite believe it . . .

  3. Hope Nwosu Says:

    A big congrats to the winners and best of luck in their future endavours

  4. Nik Perring Says:

    Congrats, folks!

  5. Chris Fryer Says:

    Congrats Alex! I’m thrilled to know that my story was considered alongside yours! Very cool. Hope to read more from you in the future.

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