The Edge Hill Prize is awarded annually by Edge Hill University for excellence in a published single authored short story collection.
The literary world, particularly fiction, has long been dominated by the novel, with countless awards that exclusively acknowledge authors for their work around this form. Now, in the digital era, literary fiction is under pressure; a faster pace of life and a plethora of distractions threaten to eliminate reading as a form of entertainment. Suddenly, big-name novelists and playwrights are keen to be seen in the company of short stories, with acclaimed writers turning their attention to the short form like never before.
“The great thing about a short story is that it doesn’t have to trawl through someone’s whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side.”Emma Donoghue
To recognise the acceleration of what was once an overlooked art form, Professor Ailsa Cox (the world’s only Professor of Short Fiction) founded the Edge Hill Short Story Prize in 2006, highlighting the intricate craftsmanship of short story writing. The Prize remains unique as the only annually presented award that recognises excellence in a published, single-authored collection of short stories in the UK and Ireland.
“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.”Neil Gaiman
Now in its 18th Year, the prize money currently stands at £10,000 and is judged by a selected panel of literary experts. This year, an additional prize of £1,000 will be awarded for Best Debut collection. This replaces the old ‘Reader’s Choice’ award. An additional category worth £500 acknowledges rising talent amongst the University’s Postgraduate Creative Writing cohort.
Previous years’ winners have been Colm Tóibín, Claire Keegan, Chris Beckett, Jeremy Dyson, Graham Mort, Sarah Hall, John Burnside, Kirsty Gunn, Jessie Greengrass, Daisy Johnson, Tessa Hadley, David Szalay, Shelley Day, Kevin Barry, Saba Sams and last year’s winner Bernie McGill.