The Edge Hill University Short Story Prize is the only UK based award to recognise excellence in a single authored short story collection. As such it is a tremendously important feature of the writing landscape for anyone who enjoys reading short fiction, as well as anyone engaged in writing short fiction. As someone who sits squarely in the overlap of that particular venn diagram, the Edge Hill Prize is always firmly on my radar.

On Monday they released the longlist for the 2020 prize. And for the first time, it’s an all female list:

  • Julia Armfield – Salt Slow (Picador)
  • Lisa Blower – It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s (Myriad Editions)
  • Elleke Boehmer – To the Volcano (Myriad Editions)
  • Lucy Sweeney Byrne – Paris Syndrome (Banshee Press)
  • Ruby Cowling – This Paradise (Boiler House Press)
  • Shelley Day – What Are You Like (Postbox Press)
  • Nicole Flattery – Show Them a Good Time (Bloomsbury)
  • Sarah Hall – Sudden Traveller (Faber)
  • Kirsty Logan – Things We Say in the Dark (Vintage)
  • Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi – Manchester Happened (One World)
  • Linda Mannheim – This Way to Departures (Influx Press)
  • Amanda O’Callaghan – This Taste of Silence (University of Queensland Press)

Massive congratulations to all the longlisted authors. This prize always champions interesting and challenging work and this year is no exception.

I already have a few of these on my bookshelf, but nowhere near all. Once again the Edge Hill Prize has pointed me toward more writers I should be reading. If all of these are new to you, I can recommend Lisa Blower’s It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s, Ruby Cowling’s This Paradise, and Linda Mannheim’s This Way to Departures. Which leaves nine more collections for me to explore. I’m off to see what I’ve been missing.