2018 Results

We’re delighted to announce this year’s winning stories for the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2018. The winning stories were chosen by our fantastic judging panel, which includes writers Rebecca Burns, Jon McGregor and last year’s winner, CG Menon.

The winning stories in this year’s competition are:

1st prize: ‘How Do We Die?’ by Selma Carvalho

2nd prize: ‘Paper Chains’ by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt

3rd prize:  ‘Scrubbed Away’ by Helen Cooper

Highly commended: ‘Get Along Without You Now’ by Dianne Bown-Wilson

Over 185 entries were received from across the UK in the second year of the prize, open to published and unpublished writers, for a short story of up to 3000 words on any theme or subject. All entries were judged anonymously.

Chair of judges, Rebecca Burns said. “Judging this year’s Leicester Writes Short Story Competition was enjoyable as ever – the longlist and shortlist contained some real gems of stories which were a treat to read. It took some thought to whittle the longlist down to a shortlist and choosing the stories to place and highly commend was even harder. As judges we all shared our thoughts about where the stories worked, where some fell a little short, and where some really sang. I’m pleased that we were able to come to a consensus and we’re delighted with our selection. What’s clear is that there is a wealth of writing talent out there and some excellent pieces of work were submitted to the competition. Thank you, writers, for again trusting us with your words.”

Twenty short stories which featured on this year’s longlist will be published in an anthology by Dahlia Publishing and launched on June 30th during the annual Leicester Writes Festival.

1st prize winner (How Do We Die)

Selma Carvalho is a British-Asian writer, columnist and author of three books documenting the Goan presence in colonial British East Africa. Between 2011-2014, she headed the oral histories of British-Goans project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund UK. Her short fiction and poetry has been published in literary journals, among them LitroLighthouse and online Mechanics’ Institute Review (Birkbeck). Nine of her works are published or forthcoming in anthologies including the London Short Story Prize 2017 Anthology (Kingston University Press; 2018) for which she was a short-list finalist. She has been placed in numerous short story competitions, most recently winning the Editor’s Pick Award for the Fabula Press Prize 2017, Hong Kong.

2nd prize winner (Paper Chains)

Debz Hobbs-Wyatt lives and works in Essex as a full-time writer and editor. She has had over thirty short stories published and won the inaugural Bath Short Story Prize in 2013. She has also been nominated the US Pushcart prize and shortlisted in the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Her debut novel While No One Was Watching was published by Parthian Books in 2013 and she has several other novels in various stages of development. She edits professionally and mentors aspiring writers.

3rd prize winner (Scrubbed Away)

Helen Cooper lives in Derby and works at the University of Birmingham, helping students develop their academic skills. Her commute gives her a daily window of writing time. She has been published in Writers’ Forum, Mslexia, the Lincolnshire Echo, and the Bath Short Story Award anthology. She is currently working on a novel and has also co-written a text book on academic writing for students, published in 2016 by Palgrave.

Highly commended (Get Along Without You Now)

Dianne Bown-Wilson was born in England, grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Dartmoor National Park.  In recent years her short stories have either won prizes or been placed in competitions including the Fish Prize, Exeter Writers, The Momaya Annual Review, Writing Magazine, the Walter Swan Competition, Ink Tears, the Bedford Writing Competition, the HG Wells Prize, The Fresher Prize, Flash 500 and the Yeovil Prize. A collection of thirty-two of her successful stories, Instructions for Living and Other Stories was published in 2016. She is currently working on her first novel.