We’re delighted to announce this year’s winning stories for the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2019. The winning stories were chosen by our fantastic judging panel, which includes writers Rebecca Burns, Jonathan Taylor and Susmita Bhattacharya.
The winning stories in this year’s competition are:
1st prize: ‘The New Boy’ by Mary Byrne
2nd prize: ‘Our Special Words for Things’ by Dan Brotzel
3rd prize: ‘Because Sometimes Something Happens’ by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt
Honorable mentions: ‘Horton Street’ by Selma Carvalho and ‘Amended Endings’ by Sharon Boyle
Over 150 entries were received from across the UK in the third year of the prize, open to published and unpublished writers, for a short story of up to 3000 words on any theme or subject.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.
Judges praised the quality of entries on the longlist. Rebecca Burns, chair of judges said: “The stories on the short list were all exceptional and we enjoyed reading them. Many only just missed out.
“ The New Boy stood out for us all because of the accomplished way it was written, and it was moving without being overly sentimental.”
Twenty short stories which featured on this year’s longlist will be published in an anthology by Dahlia Publishing and launched at the annual Leicester Writes Festival in October.
1st prize winner (The New Boy)
Mary Byrne lives in Loughborough. She is an artist as well as a writer, and worked as an adult art tutor until recently. She describes her writing as visually aware and her art as narrative-based. Mary has had several stories published in literary magazines, most recently in The Coffee House, and is at present working on a historical novel. She is from Scotland originally but has lived all over Britain, from Aberdeen to London, working in places as varied as a Blackpool Rock factory and the Map Department of the National Archives.
2nd prize winner (Our Special Words for Things)
Dan won the 2018 Riptide Journal short story competition, and was highly commended in the Manchester Writing School competition 2018. He has words in places like Ellipsis, Reflex Fiction, Cabinet of Heed, Bending Genres, The Esthetic Apostle, Spelk, Ginger Collect, The Pithead Chapel and Fiction Pool. His first collection of short stories, Hotel du Jack, will be published early 2020. He is also co-author of a comic novel, Kitten on a Fatberg (Unbound).
3rd prize winner (Because Sometimes Something Happens)
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 and she has several other novels in various stages of development. She edits professionally and mentors aspiring writers.