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Winners 2015

The shortlist this year was judged by  literary agent Carrie Kania  and our 2015 winners were announced in July. Read the winning stories, Carrie’s comments and the  winning and commended writers’  biographies here

£1000 1st Prize: ‘That Summer’ by Safia Moore,

£200 2nd Prize: ‘Dancing to the Shipping Forecast’ by Dan Powell,

£100 3rd Prize:‘The Woman of Letters’ by Angela Readman,

£50 Local  Prize, sponsored by Mr B’s Emporium , Bath: ‘The Three Kings’ by K M Elkes ,

£50 Acorn Award for an unpublished writer, sponsored by Writing Events Bath : ‘Last Rites’ by Lucy Corkhill

Commended:‘Hummingbird Heart’, Eileen Merriman

Commended: ‘The She-Wolves’, Barbara Weeks

Read Carrie’s comments on the shortlist and the bios of the three other shortlisted  writers here

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That Killer First Page

phpThumb Paul SmallerWe are delighted to host this three-hour workshop with Paul McVeigh, co-founder of the  London Short Story Festival,  Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story salon and  a reader and judge for national and international short story competitions.

Saturday October 17th, 1.45 pm – 4.45 pm Bath Central Library, Bath. Cost £40. Book here via paypal  Only 5 places left

Find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. You’ll get tips on staying focused, where to start the action, how to write with emotional impact, and how to edit your story Then you’ll have a go at  writing the opening of your story and get brief feedback from Paul. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. He has read his work on BBC Radio 5 at the International Conference on the Short Story in Vienna, the Belfast Book Festival and the Cork International Short Story Festival where he is appearing again in September this year. He is also appearing at the Wroclaw Short Story Festival Poland in October.

The Good SonPaul’s novel The Good Son was published to acclaim in April by Salt publishing and has recently been short listed  for the Guardian Not the Booker Prize.

This year he is judging the Penny Dreadful Novella Prize alongside Sarah Baume and Colin Barrett, The I is Another Short Story Competition alongside Laura Del Rivo and is the sole judge of the Bare Fiction Short Story Prize.

Last year this  Killer First Page workshop was a sell out in Melbourne Australia, and Waterstones Piccadilly. Spaces limited to 20.

Comments from  previous workshop participants

Fantastic! Practical, targeted advice like this is wonderful!”
“This was my fave course yet! Informative, entertaining, and engaging. Hard to beat

I emerged from the sleepy hamlet of my writing infancy last Saturday and was sky-rocketed, hurricaned, tsunamied, autobahned and g-forced out of my head by Paul McVeigh’s “That Killer First Page” Masterclass at Waterstones, Piccadilly. He’s on top of his game, gives instinctive, constructive criticism and in a few short hours, had conveyed the essence of how to make a story compelling and unputdownable from the first few lines. Get on one of his courses if you can.”

An Evening of Readings

with Paul McVeigh, Sarah Hilary and Tania Hershman

at St James Wine Vaults, Bath, Saturday 17th October, 7.30-10.00 pm

Readings, Q & A, Books for sale (cash only) free nibbles.

Cost: £3.00. Numbers limited, advanced tickets only. Book here via paypal or card

Paul McVeigh is  co-founder of the London Short Story Festival and Associate Director of The Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story salon. His short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. He has read his work on BBC Radio 5 at the International Conference on the Short Story in Vienna, the Belfast Book Festival and the Cork International Short Story Festival. He will be reading extracts from his novel The Good Son which was published to acclaim in April by Salt Publishing and has recently been shortlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker’ Prize.

Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was the Observer’s Book of the Month (“superbly disturbing”), a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, and has been published worldwide. No Other Darkness, the second in the Marnie Rome series is out now. Sarah will read from both books on the night.

Tania Hershman is the author of two short story collections, co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion and her debut poetry chapbook is forthcoming in 2016. She is curator of ShortStops (www.shortstops.info), celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Bristol University and studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. www.taniahershman.com

Tania will be reading some of her short and very short stories and poems, as well as giving you a first look inside the new anthology she co-edited, with Pippa Goldschmidt, of short stories inspired by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, ‘I am because you are’, to be published in September 2015 by Freight Books.

Want to make it a day of writing? Book on Paul’s That Killer First Page workshop at Bath Central Library in the afternoon of Saturday 17th October. Places going fast

Anthology Titles

Our 2015 anthology, published again by the Self Publishing Partnership Bath under their Brown Dog imprint, will be out in October and available to buy in print on this website, from bookshops in Bath and elsewhere, and digitally. There will be twenty stories in the book – ten by all our winning and shortlisted writers this year and ten more from the longlist. All listed here:

That Summer by Safia Moore; Dancing to the Shipping Forecast by Dan Powell; The Woman of Letters by  Angela Readman; The Three Kings by Ken Elkes, Last Rites by Lucy Corkhill, Hummingbird Heart by Eileen Merriman; The She-Wolves by Barbara Weeks; Boy Uncharted by Sophie Hampton; Lilith by Sara Collins; The Ends of the Earth by Emma Seaman; Death in the Nest by Debbi Voisey; Lips by John Holland; Ruby Shoesmith, click, click, click by Emily Devane; Sand by Anna Metcalfe; The Witching Hour by Anne Corlett; Cargo by Alice Falconer; Ruby Slippers by Chris Edwards-Pritchard; Mosquito Press by Adam Kucharski; Big and Brie by Fran Landsman; The Quiet Numb of Nothing by Fiona Mitchell.


COMPRESSED FEST: Saturday at the London Short Story Fest June 18-21, 2015


Paul McVeigh in action

How to enjoy the London Short Story Festival? The novel approach – a full 3 days to linger in Waterstones Piccadilly, flitting between five floors to drop into c. 27 events, browse books and enjoy  meals in a choice of cafes.  Or go short story: compressed, intense – 6 events in 10 hours. The  Jude and  Jane way.

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‘A Beautiful Thing’ BSSA 2014, 2nd prize winner, on Radio 4

“The Beautiful Thing’, by Kit de Waal to be broadcast on Radio 4, 22nd March

We’re delighted to announce that Kit de Waal’s story ‘The Beautiful Thing’, which won second prize in The Bath Short Story Award, 2014,  is going to be broadcast on Radio 4. Produced in BBC Radio Bristol by Mair Bosworth you can hear it  on  Sunday 22nd March 0.30 am (Effectively, Saturday night) and it will be available on iplayer for 30 days. We will add the link to the website when it is up shortly. A lovely treat for the beginning of Spring! Continue reading

Emily Bullock’s novel launched

Now launched by Myriad Press, Emily Bullock’s debut novel, ‘The Longest Fight’

A book to buy! The BSSA team is getting one.  And if you’re quick you might win a pre-publication copy. (see below) We love Emily’s compelling short story Zoom, which is published in our 2014 Bath Short Story Award anthology  (Buy now from this site for £5.00)

“Myriad’s first publication of 2015 is Emily Bullock‘s debut novel, The Longest Fight, a beautiful and brutal story set in the gritty world of 1950s boxing. Throughout January, Goodreads are offering readers the chance to win one of ten exclusive, pre-publication copies of the novel. Bestselling Writing magazine has published a profile interview with Emily in their latest issue where she offers her ‘top tips’ for writers and discusses her journey to publication, as well as the challenges of writing her novel as part of her PhD.”

Emily won the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize with her story My Girl, which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She worked in film before pursuing writing full time. Her memoir piece No One Plays Boxing was shortlisted for the Fish International Publishing Prize 2013 and her short story Zoom was longlisted for our 2014 award.  She also won the National Writers in Education Conference (NAWE) Short Story Competition in 2013. She has a Creative Writing MA from the University of East Anglia and completed her PhD at the Open University, where she also teaches Creative Writing.




Publication for BSSA anthology authors

It’s so inspiring when authors are successful in several different fictional forms.  In December 2014, we announced that our 2014  second prize winner, Kit de Waal secured a three book deal with Viking beginning with  her novel, ‘My Name is Leon’.

This week, we learned that Anne-Marie Neary, whose short story’ Gon-Do-La’ is also published in our 2014 Bath Short Story Award Anthology, and who read at our 2014 anthology launch at Mr B’s bookshop back in November, has secured a deal with Hutchinson for her novel ‘Siren’, which will be published in spring 2016. Another of her novels will be published in 2017. Senior editor from Hutchinson, Emma Mitchell says of ‘Siren’, ” This brilliant novel grabbed me right from the dramatic opening scene. Anne-Marie is an outstanding story teller and builds the tension, page after page to an an exhilarating denouement. ‘I’m delighted to have her for the Hutchinson list”.

Both Anne-Marie and Kit have  won awards for short and longer fiction and there’s further inspiration  from authors on the Interview page on this site.  We interviewed the wonderful award winning novelist and short story writer Antony Doerr in March 2013. His novel, ‘All the Light We Cannot See’, published in May 2014 in the US,  was an instant New York Times best seller and one of four finalists in the US National Book Awards. It’s one of Jude’s current recommended  novel reads and her interview with Antony Doerr is back at the top of our interview page on this site  There’s some great advice for short story writers in this interview, particularly on final edits.



2015 success for our 2014 BSSA winners

It’s only the beginning of January and Kit de Waal our second prize winner in the 2014 Bath Short Story Award, who we interviewed last month has won second prize in The Bare Fiction Prize from Bare Fiction Magazine www.barefictionmagazine.co.uk/competitions/results/ for her Flash Fiction story, “I am the Painter’s Daughter”. Anne Corlett, our local prize winner in BSSA 2014, has won third prize in the short story category of the same competition with her story ‘Clay Baby’.  Many congratulations to both writers.   You are an inspiration!

You can buy the 2014 BSSA anthoogy containing the stories by Kit and Anne and  eighteen other winning stories here

The anthologies are also available at Mr B’s Emporium Bath, and Toppings Bookshop Bath. In Bristol they are at Durdham Down Bookshop, North View, Bristol and in Frome they are at Hunting Raven Bookshop.