And here are the final results.
The Race by Alice Fowler
The Race had us rooting for it from the starting line. The use of the race to discuss social issues and racism is sheer brilliance and the author’s mastery building atmosphere that tracks with the story’s mounting tension had us gripped. The competition was tough this year but this short story won by a nose.
Pounds, Shilling and Pence by Valerie Thompson
What does it mean to be complicit? In a period of time in which many of us are asking ourselves this very question about the status quo and our role in perpetuating institutionalised racism, this clever story portrays a case of a commitment to social justice and its limits.
Mavourneen by Annie Friedlein
This story gives voice to the muse of artist James Tissot, and behind his gauzy portraits Friedlein discovers a woman with her own story and perspective. The writing is perfectly pitched, full of the telling details, images and textures. The story conveys a depth of emotion which goes beyond the words on the page to produce the alchemical shiver of great art.
The other shortlisted stories were:
Lakshmi Will Return ~ Padmini B. Sankar
The Pavilion of Enlightenment ~ Alison Lloyd.
The Sentinel Bird ~ Jacqui Scholes-Rhodes
All entries are judged anonymously. The six shortlisted stories will be collected as an anthology and the writers of the winning and highly commended stories will be offered professional mentoring on craft and career. The writer of the winning story will also receive £500 along with publication on Historia and in The Whispering Gallery along with our hearty congratulations.
Many congratulations to the writers of these remarkable stories. We’d also like to thank our fantastic final round judges – Matt Casbourne, Pamela Gordon, Antonia Hodgson and Norah Perkins and our first round judges who had the impossible task of reading over two hundred stories to reach our longlist of twenty-five:
Janet Angelini, Lesley Burnie, Elisabeth Gifford, Kate Jewell, Jean Lang, Barbara Milner, Betty Moxon, Maggie Richell-Davies, Michael Ridpath, Annie Whitehead & Nancy Wright.