2021 Results

We’re thrilled to announce this year’s winning stories for the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize. The winning stories were chosen by our fantastic judging panel, which includes writers Rebecca Burns, Melissa Fu and Dan Powell.

The winning stories in this year’s competition are:

1st prize: ‘Bedbugs’ by Leeor Ohayon

2nd prize: ‘Scrounger’ by S. M. Wait 

3rd prize:  ‘Permission to Communicate’ by Jay Kelly

Honorable mentions:
‘Miss Aveline’s Summerhouse’ by Katherine Hetzel
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is History by Barbara Weeks

Over 310 entries were received from across the UK in the fifth year of the prize, open to published and unpublished writers, for a short story of up to 3500 words on any theme or subject. All entries were judged anonymously.

Judges praised the range of ideas, themes and quality of entries received. Rebecca Burns, chair of judges said: “We’d like to thank all writers who submitted entries for trusting us with their words again. The quality of the stories again impressed us, and it was difficult to narrow down the longlist to the shortlist. And even harder to select the stories we’d placed!

“‘Bed-Bugs’ has been described by one judge as an “an assured and confident piece of fiction”, and it really did stand out. Unusual formatting which worked well with the reassessment of place and identity, with a strong metaphor throughout. Scrounger is heartfelt and moving, and speaks to the harsh way individuals can be judged – and judge themselves. Permission to Communicate is another great story – again moving and, through a focus on action and physicality, strips back the layers of deep emotion and meaning.”

20 writers who made this year’s longlist will be published in the prize anthology due to launch in the autumn as part of our Short Story September celebrations.