The Short Story

Once again the National Short Story Prize have neglected to include me on their shortlist. The nerve of it! Instead they chose this lot:

‘Slog’s Dad’ by David Almond

‘The Morena’ by Jonathan Falla

‘The Orphan and the Mob’ by Julian Gough

‘How to Get Away with Suicide’ by Jackie Kay

‘Weddings and Beheadings’ by Hanif Kureishi

The shortlist was announced today and can be found here.

Also note the total lack of SF nominations. That really is a shame as a campaign claiming to rejuvinate the short story is deliberately ignoring the area of literature where short fiction is strongest. Oh well.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Director of creative writing at UoL, published with OUP and Cambridge. Currently travelling the world and writing a book.

2 thoughts on “The Short Story

  1. Sorry about that. Nothing to do with me! I agree with you about the sorry lack of science fiction nominations. Most of my favourite short stories are probably postwar SF. JG Ballard in particular, but also Vonnegut (blessings be upon him) and Clarke and Sturgeon and Budrys and Dick and… so on…

    The widening gap between “literary” fiction and everything else isn’t helping anyone. “Literary” fiction is a bad idea anyway. It’s started to turn into a fossilised genre of its own when surely all it should mean is the best fiction, of any kind, that hasn’t censored itself in order to sell.

    I’ve rather lost touch with SF over the past few years. (I’ve just spent over seven years in solitude, writing a very peculiar and very long novel, and have only just emerged from my cave, blinking, and wondering what I’ve missed.) Who is good right now?

    Best of luck with your stuff,



  2. Thanks Julian. Clearly my failure to shake the foundations of the literary establishment isn’t your responsibility.

    Now the name I would love to see in a future list is Charles Stross, writer of Accelerando, a series on nine linked SF short stories. You can actualy download the whole text of the book for free from Charlies website( ) although its good form to buy a copy or two if you enjoy it.

    I like the idea of literary fiction as anything that hasn’t censored itself to sell. As SF really doesn’t sell, it probably all qualifies.

    Thanks for commenting, its quite an honour.



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