Costa Short Story Shortlist

costa book awardsBack in the summer (remember that? When the sun shone for a couple of days?), I told you about the Costa Short Story competition.

No, don’t get excited – no-one from the blog’s won (as far as I know!) and I definitely haven’t won because I missed the deadline and didn’t even enter. (Bah! New Year’s Resolution: be more organised!)

Anyway, they’ve shortlisted 6 finalists and the stories are on the website here if you want to read or listen to them.

I chose not to listen on the basis that these stories weren’t written to be broadcast and I thought they might lose something if I didn’t actually read them on the page. But I realise that for some busy people, listening means they can do something else at the same time.

You can vote for your favourite, if you feel so inclined, although I don’t think that has any effect on the overall result.

What’s interesting, is that the authors of the 6 stories are anonymous. Obviously someone, somewhere, knows their identity but the judges didn’t when they chose these 6.

And because it’s a pretty prestigious competition, with some hefty prize money at stake (£3,500 for the winner), there’s a good chance that some, or all, of these stories will have been written by some well-known writers (but then again, they might not!)

It’ll be interesting to find out who’s written them and whether anyone well-known wins, when all is revealed in January.

Let me know what you think of them, if you get chance to read/listen.

If you were a judge, which one would you award first place and which two would be the runners-up? I’ve got an opinion, of course, but I’ll keep quiet for now and let you decide for yourself….

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7 Responses to Costa Short Story Shortlist

  1. Carol Warham says:

    Hi Helen.
    I was up in the Lake District last week and was able to purchase a copy of TWN. We can’t seem to get it in Yorkshire.
    Anyway, just to say your lovely story about Molly going swimming was in. I was completely fooled and didn’t expect the twist at all. A really good read.

    • Thanks Carol – I didn’t even realise that story was in TWN! (no notification from the editor but that happens sometimes! I’ll have to see if I can find a copy myself now!). Glad you enjoyed the story.

  2. Tracy Fells says:

    I originally thought the final voting online would decide the winner, but maybe not – doesn’t seem that clear. Didn’t put me off entering (it was Free and good prize), but I didn’t make the shortlist… sigh. The shortlist is a good mixture of styles, but to be hones 3 of these I found difficult to get through – as seemed too long and dragged out (and reminded me of creative writing exercises) – left me cold. My top 3 are:
    3. Trompette de la Mort
    2.. Dislocation – though by the end still couldn’t be sure if Rudi was a girl or boy, which I found irritating.
    1. Don’t try this at home – to me the clear winner, Surreal, funny and unusual – such a treat to read an imaginative story. Loved it.

    • Interesting that you both liked ‘Don’t Try This At Home’ – I must admit I found it a bit gimmicky and got fed up with it but maybe I should have stuck with it. I also liked ‘Trompette de la Mort’ (probably my favourite, although I wasn’t mad about any of them) and ‘Dislocation’. I’d say Rudi was a boy – Rudi’s the shortened form of Rudolf in German.

  3. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    I voted for Don’t Try this at Home for its originality and humour-plus it was very well written. I quite liked Dislocation and for what it’s worth, I think Rudi was a boy though not sure why I say that. That was a good story too and although Mown Grass had a dated feel to it and the plot wasn’t altogether original, I rather liked the ending and the story as a whole, so that was my second choice! Some good reads there and I’ll look forward to finding out who won! Thanks for the link, Helen.

  4. Carol Warham says:

    Hi Helen. It was TWN issue no 8216 dated 1st December

    • Carol Thanks – I’ve missed it! Have just been out to the shops and found a Weekly News but it was dated 10 December. I will have to email the Weekly News now! Am pleased they’ve published a story but it would have been nice if they’d told me….

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