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The London Magazine Short Story Competition 2016 | Winners

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Thank you so much to everyone who entered The London Magazines Short Story Competition 2016. We were delighted to see such a large volume and high standard of entries. Judges Max Porter, Erica Wagner and Angus Cargill have made their decision, and we are very pleased to announce the winners:

First place: The Match Factory by Emma Hughes

Second place: I Have Called You By Your Name by Anne O’Brien

Third place: The Ideal Husband Exhibition by Dan Powell

Each of these short stories will be published in upcoming issues of The London Magazine as well as online. The winners will be awarded their prizes at a ceremony held at the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion in March.

We would like to extend a special mention to those who were shortlisted, your short fiction also impressed our judges and magazine staff:

Shortlist:
The Fog Harvester – Marie Gethins
Strange Monument No. 1 –
Kevin Klinskidorn
Five Parts – Amanda Oosthuizen
Big Fish – William Pei Shih
Snow – Sally Syson
London City Ghouls i: Matt and Rakel Don’t Go Out – Toby Parker Rees
Take The Well – Mark Wagstaff

We’d also like to thank our judges for all the time and effort they put into reading the submissions, and thanks also to our readers, Ludovico Cinelli, Rufus Cuthbert and Victoria Lancaster, who aided the selection process!

Short Story Competition 2016 | An interview with Steven O’Brien

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Attention all entrants! With only a month until our Short Story Competition 2016 closes, we spoke to our editor, Steven O’Brien, for some tips on how to write a good short story and advice on how to make your entries stand out!

What are you currently reading?

The Old Ways by Robert MacFarlane and The Beast by Paul Kingsnorth. Both deeply English narratives.

What is your favourite short story and why?

The Dead by James Joyce, for its’ sweep, symbolism and epiphany.

Which writer’s work can you always rely on to inspire your creative process?

Robert Holdstock.

If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only take three books, which three would you take?

The Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane, The Four Men by Hilaire Belloc and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

What advice can you give entrants to the Short Story Competition 2016?

Keep it tight, crisp and inventive. Let economy be your watchword – you don’t necessarily have to write to the word limit.

Short Story Competition 2016 | An interview with Erica Wagner

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Portrait of writer and critic Erica Wagner

With just over a month until our Short Story Competition 2016 closes, we spoke to one of the judges, Erica Wagner, and found out that Emily Dickinson inspires her creative process. She also told us what three elements she believes are key to a good short story. 

 

What are you currently reading? If it’s not fiction, what fiction have you recently read and enjoyed? And what specifically did you like about it?

I’ve just read Yaa Gyasi’s wonderful novel, Homegoing (coming in the UK from Penguin in January) and I’m trying not to get to the end of Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed, her take on The Tempest, which is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series. Homegoing is remarkable for a first novel — a book that takes us from 18th-century Ghana to present day America, bringing to life the dreadful history of the slave trade and its legacy in the United States. Atwood’s Hag-Seed is serious, moving… and funny, for she always manages (sometimes miraculously) to combine the three. It’s a perfect homage to the Bard and yet always its own story: quite a trick!

What is your favourite short story, and why is it your favourite?

I can’t believe you’re asking me this question. My favourite short story? How could I possibly choose? On the one hand there is Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”, on the other Rose Tremain’s “The Housekeeper” (to mention just one relatively recent story I adored).

Which writer’s work can you always rely on to inspire your creative process?

Emily Dickinson.

If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only take three books, which three would you take?

The collected poems of Emily Dickinson (see above). A Story As Sharp As a Knife, by Robert Bringhurst. The best atlas available between hard covers: a good map is an infinite story.

In your opinion, what are the key elements of a good short story?

Vision, precision, and a sense of unlimited completion.

What advice can you give entrants to the Short Story Competition 2016?

See everything you want your readers to see. If you are there, we will be, too. Edit your story, and then edit it again. And again.

 


Erica Wagner is an author and editor. For 17 years literary editor of The Times, and twice a judge of the Man Booker prize, she is now Lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar. She is the author of Gravity: Stories; Ariel’s Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of Birthday Letters and Seizure, a novel. Pas de Deux/A Concert of Stories, co-written with storyteller Abbi Patrix and musician and composer Linda Edsjö, tours around the world. First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner, has just been published by Unbound, and her biography of Washington Roebling, chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

Short Story Competition 2016

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This competition is now closed.

Thanks to all who entered. The longlist, shortlist and winners will be announced over the next few months. Keep checking our ‘Competitions’ section and sign up to our newsletter for updates.


Autumn is here, which means The London Magazine‘s Short Story Competition 2016 is upon us.

The London Magazine has published short stories by some of the most well-respected literary figures over the course of long history. Our annual Short Story Competition seeks out new voices to join them. Established to encourage emerging literary talent, the award provides an opportunity for publication and recognition, as well as rewarding imagination, originality and creativity. The London Magazine is looking for unpublished short stories under 4,000 words from writers across the world. The story that wins first-place will be published in a future issue of The London Magazine. The second and third place stories will be published on our website. Prize winners will also be invited to a reception in early 2017.

Entry fee: £10 per short story (there is no limit to the number of entries you can submit)

Opening date: 1st September 2016
Closing Date: 31st October 2016
Deadline Extended To: 14th November

First Prize: £500
Second Prize: £300
Third Prize: £200


Judges:

Erica Wagner is an author and editor. For 17 years literary editor of The Times, and twice a judge of the Man Booker prize, she is now Lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar. She is the author of Gravity: Stories; Ariel’s Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of Birthday Letters and Seizure, a novel. Pas de Deux/A Concert of Stories, co-written with storyteller Abbi Patrix and musician and composer Linda Edsjö, tours around the world. First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner, has just been published by Unbound, and her biography of Washington Roebling, chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

Max Porter

 

Max Porter is an editorial director of Granta and Portobello Books. His authors include Han Kang, Eleanor Catton, Ben Marcus, Sarah Moss and Caroline Lucas. His debut novel Grief is the Thing With Feathers was published in 2015. It won the International Dylan Thomas Prize and will be translated into 23 languages. He lives in South London with his family.

 

Angus CargillAngus Cargill is Editorial Director at Faber & Faber, where he was worked since 2000. He edits and publishes writers such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Sebastian Barry, Jane Harris, David Peace, Nadeem Aslam and Lucy Caldwell, as well as non-fiction authors Peter Pomerantsev, Nick Kent and Barney Hoskyns. He also runs Faber’s crime list – which includes Peter Swanson, Chris Pavone, Laura Lippman, Stav Sherez and Alafair Burke, among others – and has published a number of graphic novels, by Emily Carroll, Craig Thompson and Adrian Tomine.

Read The London Magazine’s interviews with the judges here.


Submission:

As of 1st September, you’ll be able to apply via Submittable here:

submit
Alternatively, you can download the Short Story Competition 2016 Entry Form to fill in and post with your entry. (N.B. There is no need to complete an entry form if entering via Submittable)

Important:
Please read our competition rules carefully before entering.
If you have any questions, please contact Abi at competition@thelondonmagazine.org.
To receive competition updates and all the latest news and offers, sign up for The London Magazine‘s Official Newsletter.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates!

 

Short Story Competition: A word from the Judges

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Elizabeth Bowen / Katherine Mansfield

With just a couple weeks left till the end of our annual Short Story Competition we spoke to the Judges to find out exactly what the short story means to them.  Today we spoke to award-winning novelist Susan Hill about writers, short stories and what to read to be inspired. 

What do you look for in a short story?

‘A little world, made cunningly.’

Which short story writers do you admire? 

In no order – Chekhov, Elizabeth Bowen, James Lasdun, Helen Simpson, Henry James, Katherine Mansfield… and many many more.

What possibilities does the form of short fiction present to a writer that the novel doesn’t offer? 

It doesn’t – it is just different.

How would you describe yourself as a reader? 

Omniverous – almost. I don’t read fantasy or sci-fi.

If you had to recommend one short story for contributors to read what would it be? 

I’m having 3 –

Katherine Mansfield, ‘The Doll’s House’.

James Lasdun ‘From the Minutes of the Honorary Secretary’.

Helen Simpson, ‘Burns Night’.

And about 1,000 more…

19.03.08 Picture shows Susan Hill (born February 5, 1942) is a British popular writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her novels have all been best sellers, and she remains best known for her ghost story The Woman in Black. Other notable novels have been I'm the King of the Castle and The Mist in the Mirror..Susan Hill's latest release is called The Battle for Gullywith. Picture Ben Graville
Photo: Ben Graville

Susan Hill has been a professional writer for over 50 years. Her books have won the Whitbread, and John Llewellyn Prizes, andthe W. Somerset Maugham Award and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her novels include Strange MeetingI’m the King of the Castle and A Kind Man, and she has also published autobiography and collections of short stories. Her ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in London’s West End since 1988.

 

 

 

Click here to submit your entry

Short Story Competition: A word from the Judges

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Yasutaka Tsutsui / Luigi Pirandello

With just a few weeks left till the end of our annual Short Story Competition we spoke to the Judges to find out exactly what the short story means to them.  Today we spoke to Alessandro Gallenzi, writer, publisher and founder of Alma Books about writers, short stories and what to read to be inspired. 

What do you look for in a short story? 

Economy of language, humour, a well-devised structure and, above all, a satisfying ending that makes you laugh, cry or think long after turning the last page.

Which short story writers do you admire? 

My favourite short-story writers from the Western canon are Boccaccio, Chekhov, Fitzgerald, Gogol, Conan Doyle, Poe, Pushkin, Saki, Pirandello and Carver. Among the contemporaries, Ian McEwan and Yasutaka Tsutsui.

What possibilities does the form of short fiction present to a writer that the novel doesn’t offer? 

A short story enables the writer to develop a particular idea or describe a situation or set of circumstances without having to create too much context or dilute the narration with excessive description. A short story is compact and pithy – it is, to the novel, what a sonnet is to a long poem: the shorter form helps to condense the thought and delivers a punch more effectively than the diffused narrative of a novel.

How would you describe yourself as a reader? 

Curious and omnivorous, with a penchant for the sapid.

If you had to recommend one short story for contributors to read what would it be? 

Five, please: ‘The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Fell Out with Ivan Nikiforovich’ by Gogol, ‘The Queen of Spades’ by Pushkin, ‘Berenice’ (or ‘The Tell-tale Heart’) by Poe, ‘Chichibio and the Crane’ (Decameron, VI, 4) by Boccaccio and ‘The Wheelbarrow’ by Pirandello. Hang on, there’s also…

Alessandro-Gallenzi-crop-221x300

Alessandro Gallenzi is the founder of Hesperus Press, Alma Books and Alma Classics, and the successor of John Calder at the helm of Calder Publications. As well as being a literary publisher with almost ten years of experience, he is a translator, a poet, a playwright and a novelist. His collection of poetry Modern Bestiary – Ars Poetastrica was published in 2005 to critical acclaim.

 

 

 

Click here to submit your entry

Short Story Competition: A word from the Judges

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Ursula Le Guin / Raymond Carver © Gary McNair
With just a few weeks left till the end of our annual Short Story Competition we spoke to the Judges to find out exactly what the short story means to them. First we spoke to writer and publisher Kevan Manwaring about writers, short stories and what to read to be inspired. 
 a
What do you look for in a short story? 
 
An arresting premise. A life in freefall. A moment in time, dramatising life on Earth, in all its quotidian particularity. 
 
Which short story writers do you admire? 
 
Carver, Carter, MR James, Ray Bradbury, Le Guin, Neil Gaiman.
 
What possibilities does the form of short fiction present to a writer that the novel doesn’t offer? 
 
A heightened attentiveness in the reader – everything takes on a talismanic quality. Each word punches above its weight, can tip the balance, can stop time. Its the closest prose gets to magic. 
 
How would you describe yourself as a reader? 
 
A lazy grazer. A midnight snacker. A word-humphrey and narrative addict.
 
If you had to recommend one short story for contributors to read what would it be? 
 
Graham Joyce’s An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen (2009)
 a
Kevan-in-the-woods-206x300
 Kevan Manwaring is a writer, teacher and storyteller. He runs the Stroud Writers’ Workshop, relaunched the Bath Writers’ Workshop, & is the founder of Awen Publications. He is currently working on a Creative Writing PhD at the University of Leicester. He also lectures in creative writing for the Open University and the University of Portsmouth.

The London Magazine’s Short Story Competition 2014

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This competition is now closed.

The London Magazine Short Story Competition Shortlist

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Thank you to everyone who entered The London Magazine’s Short Story Competition. The entries have been fantastic and we are delighted to announce the 20 shortlisted entries for the competition.

  • A Mare’s Nest by John Greenwood
  • A Thousand Steps to Grass Street by Wes Lee
  • An Incomplete Taxonomy of Greetings by Matt Greene
  • Azrael’s Whispers by Frank Talaber
  • Baking Blind by Melanie Whipman
  • Chest of Drawers by Harriet Kline
  • Crumb. A digression by Liam Lonergran
  • Flowers by Mark Godfrey
  • Fox Ache by Jennifer Bailey
  • Give Dust a Tongue by John Deane
  • Night Studio by Athanasia Hughes
  • October 30th by Caroline Moir
  • Seven Facts of Water by Alex Ruczaj
  • The Accordion by Kieron O’Hara
  • The Brightlingsea Boy by Daniel Jeffreys
  • The Golden Hour by Frances Gapper
  • The Haven by Paul Houghton
  • The Language of Love by Rebecca Camu
  • The Perfect Last Day by Polly Ann White
  • Underground for the End of the World by Seth Insua

The winners will be announced in January and will be formally celebrated at the House of Commons on 21st of January 2014.

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