I was thrilled to hear yesterday that another story produced as part my PhD research, ‘Exterior. Train Station Platform. Night’, was highly commended in the Bath Short Story Award. You can also read all about the other prize-winning stories via that link. Massive congrats to Marissa Hoffmann, Sharon Telfer and Samanthi Munasing, who were awarded first, second and third prizes respectively, and equally massive congrats to Justine Bothwick, whose story was also highly commended, Stephen Gibbin (awarded The Acorn Prize for an Unpublished Writer), and Robin Booth (awarded the Local Prize).

You can read the judge’s comments on all the winning stories over on the BSSA website, along with the bios of all the prize-winners and the shortlisted writers.

The prize judge, Kate Johnson, a literary agent from Mackenzie Wolf Literary Agency, said some lovely things about my story:

This haunting, moody story crept up on me. Sparse as a poem, I admired its controlled experimentation and the way the story shifted seamlessly into the surreal, while tapping into something very real and universal: calcified love, conversations left unspoken, a proverbial cancelled train, and the mourning of those journeys not taken. Its final, poignant lines are stunning.’

‘Exterior. Train Station Platform. Night’ is part of a collection of short stories that forms the creative element of my PhD. It is really exciting to find the judge responded so positively to story’s experimental form and the quality of its final lines. My creative research focuses on the staging of closure, preclosure and anti-closure in short fiction, and this feedback supports my argument that writing stories using the preclosural writing process developed during my research helps generate more satisfying and successful structures and ‘endings’.

All twenty shortlisted stories will be published in the 2020 Bath Short Story Anthology, available from Ad Hoc Fiction in print and digital versions in November.