Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Sunday Times Short Story Award
I read in last weekend’s Sunday Times that the judges have been announced for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. When I excitedly mentioned the £30,000 prize for a single short story to the Secretary her immediate response was, ‘Well then you can forget that.’ She pointed out that a prize of £30K would attract all the best ‘proper’ writers and said I’d be competing with’ Zadie Smith and that lot’.
Well, she has a point. I don’t know whether Zadie Smith entered last years’ competition, but I do know that some of ‘that lot’ did because John Burnside, Jackie Kay, AL Kennedy, Helen Simpson and Rose Tremain (to name but a few) all had stories in the longlist. None of them, though, made the final shortlist. The winner was CK Stead, New Zealand’s most distinguished novelist and poet, with his story ‘Last Season’s Man’.
This competition, then, is tough. Only the best short story writers need apply. But shouldn’t all writers aspire to be numbered among the best? As Anatole France said, ‘To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.’
If you dream and believe, you must act by 30th October, the deadline for submissions. The competition is open to authors with a previous record of publication in creative writing. Entries may be previously unpublished, or first published or scheduled for publication after 1 January 2010. All entries must be under 6,000 words and entirely original.