“This was the beginning of the fairy tale, he thought…”

Assassination Scene, Jason Atkinson

Houses Borders Ghosts
Newcomer Prize for Short Stories 2018

It’s the end of July, which means it’s time to announce the shortlist and winners of our 2018 Newcomer Prize for Short Stories.

The quality of the entries this year has been as high as ever, and the judging has been as difficult and exciting a job as ever. The shortlisted writers will all win a three-volume subscription to our anthology series, and the two winners will also receive a cash prize. The two winning stories will appear in an upcoming Fiction Desk anthology.

Let’s start with the shortlist, which this year features nine stories:

  • Holly Barratt: ‘Daniel Sprinkles Stars’
  • Lahra Crowe: ‘Seelence’
  • Becky Docton: ‘Just Breathe’
  • Michael Hurst: ‘Speed Awareness’
  • Amy Smith Linton: ‘Pete and Jenny at the Starlite’
  • Katherine Mezzacappa: ‘Rare Orchid, Late Flowering’
  • Russell Reader: ‘The House That Jack Built’
  • Poppy Toland: ‘Our Gaff’
  • Declan Wilk: ‘Master of Cryptozoology’


Now for the winners:

In second place, with a £250 prize:

  • Poppy Toland: ‘Our Gaff’


And in first place, with a £500 prize:

  • Lahra Crowe: ‘Seelence’


I’ll be getting in touch with all the above authors to sort out their prizes over the next week or so. In the meantime, thank you again to everybody who took part in this year’s competition.

We aren’t running a writing competition this summer, as we’re turning all our attention to our standard short story submissions, which are open now. If you’re thinking of sending us something, you’ll find the guidelines here, and the submission form here.