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Short Memoir Prize 2021: Results, Short & Long-lists

Winners

Short-list

Long-list

On behalf of all of us at Fish, we congratulate the 10 winners who made it to the Anthology, and those writers who made the long and short-lists.


 

The 10 Winners:

Blake Morrison - Judge of the 2021 Fish Memoir Prize

Blake Morrison
2021 Judge

Selected by Blake Morrison.

 

 

 

 

These 10 winners will be published in the Fish Anthology 2021.

FIRST

Blood and Roses

by   Mary E.

Black  (N. Ireland)

SECOND

Becoming

by   Hannah

Persaud  (Stroud, UK)

THIRD

Dreams of Foreign Cities

by   Martha G.

Wiseman  (New York)

HONORARY MENTIONS,
in no particular order.

   

Schmaltz

by   Francesca

Humphreys  (London)

Broken Lines

by   Mary

Brown  (Ireland)Mary Brown

Fissure

by   Ellyn

Gelman  (Connecticut, USA)

Before the Dark Hour of Reason

by   Kevin

Acott  (London)

Borderline Insanity

by   Anthony

Dew  (England)

Dancing with Parkinson’s

by   Leslie

Mapp  (London)

I have my suspicions about that Dachshund

by   Alice

Jolly  (Stroud, UK)

A little about the winners:

Mary E. Black is a medical doctor and storyteller from Northern Ireland. She engages with coral reefs, conflict zones, Covid-19 and climate change and writes opinion columns. Mary won the 2021 IWC Novel Fair with Keep Darkness from the Door, a commercial medical drama set in 1980’s Ireland and inspired by a true scandal. An oarsman rescued her from pirates in the Bay of Bengal. Their two children were born underwater and are champion sailors. She sings. @DrMaryBlack

Hannah Persaud was born in England and spent her first twenty years moving around England and then South East Asia before settling in London where she promptly fell in love with a Canadian and uprooted again for Toronto. She now lives in Stroud with her family. Her debut novel The Codes of Love was published in 2020 just before covid changed everything, and her short stories have won numerous prizes. She plans to write a full-length memoir.

Martha G. Wiseman has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction; four of her essays have appeared in The Georgia Review. Her growing up was split between North Carolina and New York City. Brief lives in the theatre and as a dancer and choreographer preceded her careers as editor, bookseller, and, most happily, teacher of writing and literature at Skidmore College, from which she recently retired. Now, she writes and reads.

Francesca Humphreys is studying for a Masters in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. She was born and raised in London and trained as a singer and actor. In her writing, she examines the scope of her appetites, the role that hunger has played in shaping her identity and the effects of what she calls ‘inherited immigrant syndrome’. When not writing, Francesca teaches high-octane indoor cycling classes and pilates. 

Mary Brown once lived in a cottage with lime trees and a hammock from which she could watch starlings rearranging the evening sky. She has been a nocturnal walker in three cities. She has played the other woman in a Mexican fotonovela. Noticing how many of her plots hinge on plumbing – from Roman to anatomical – she wonders what her subconscious is up to. Once it was dancing tangos that made her float. Now it’s the Donegal sea.

Ellyn Gelman is a storyteller by nature and recently decided to capture her stories on the page. After earning an MFA in creative writing, she relocated to Manhattan to write, attend theater andwander the museums. When the pandemic shut down NY City, she moved to Connecticut whereshe still lives. Her best adventures include dogsledding on a glacier in Alaska and white waterrafting down the Rio Grande.

Kevin Acott is a lecturer, photographer and glutton for punishment who supports Spurs, loves Trieste, North Carolina and Greenland, listens to Motown, Emmylou and Jah Wobble, stares lovingly at Victorian architecture, and drinks Redbreast and Eagle Rare (though not usually at the same time). Born in Edmonton, he spent most of his adult life in Surrey with his nose pressed up against London’s window, before finally breaking in again and making it to Crouch End.

Anthony Dew has been a seaman, writer, artist, artisan, flouter of orders, rescuer of distressed seabirds and toads, hippy, deadhead, lover of all varieties of women, faithful husband (more than once), father, grandfather and designer and maker of some of the most beautiful (and the biggest) rocking-horses in this world or previous ones. He forgot to mention learner and teacher. He laughs at cameras and is ten times older than he looks.

Leslie Mapp writes from the inside about living with Parkinson’s, the incurable brain condition that progressively disrupts your movement, thinking and feeling. Having been writing short stories, imagining other people’s lives, on diagnosis Leslie realized that the big story was now his own. Dancing with Parkinson’s, tells of an unexpected discovery along the way.

Alice Jolly’s most recent novel Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile was runner up for the Rathbones Folio Prize in 2018. Alice has also won the Pen Ackerley Prize and the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Prospect, Ploughshares, The Manchester Review, Litro and Fairlight. She teaches creative writing at Oxford University.


Blake Morrison´s thoughts on the winners.

Blood and Roses 

A compelling piece by a Northern Irish doctor detailing her experiences in war-torn Sarajevo, where she worked to help badly wounded civilians escape for medical treatment in Germany. Narrated in fragments – the logic of which is beautifully accounted for in the concluding section – the piece moves from the image of Sarejevo roses commemorating the dead, through her doctor-parents’ involvement with blood donors, to her own humanitarian and medical work for the WHO. There’s the odd typo but it’s powerful first-hand, front-line reportage, careful to avoid any taint of voyeurism, both compassionate and composed throughout. 

Becoming

A set of narrative fragments or vignettes, assembled like a mosaic; spots of time from a life lived in Nepal, India, London and Yorkshire; each piece clear and compelling; several of them evoking moments of threat.  As the title suggests, the narrative, though fractured and episodic, is about the growth of an individual and an exploration of identity – as told by someone caught between different cultures and ethnicities. I hope the writer will keep going and add more.

Dreams of Foreign Cities 

At one level an exploration of a failed marriage; at another a meditation on the part that cities, real or imagined, can play in a life. The tone is elegiac but not self-pitying; dialogue is expertly handled. The last of the dreams running through it ends on a note of courage and hope. 

Schmaltz 

Beautifully written and constructed piece about the friendship and video calls/texts between two women, one in London, the other New York, both Jewish and both much preoccupied by their Jewishness. It’s a fascinating exploration of ‘inherited immigrant syndrome’, touching on loneliness, mothers and failed relationships with men as well as identity.

Broken Lines 

Short, powerful, first-hand account of the 1986 earthquake in Mexico City, as experienced by a woman who’d gone there after her father’s death and was on the verge of meeting a man who might have told her more about him. The ending is inconclusive, but necessarily so. I liked the detailed recollection of the trauma, including the ‘accordion’ effect of flattened buildings.  

Fissure 

The piece might have been called ‘Trees’ or ‘Roots’ but the aptness of the title is revealed in the final paragraph. It’s a story in part about the end of a marriage – and a woman in mid-life wanting and finding more than marriage can give her. Partly set in a writers’ retreat, it’s well-structured and subtly resolved.

Before The Dark Hour of Reason 

Or, as it might have been titled ’saudade’, since that’s the concept, almost impossible to define, that the piece sets out to explore, along with memories of a lifelong close friend. A bold foray into the inexpressible, which lifts off to great effect with its long riff, or list, on pages 7-9.

Borderline Insanity 

A clever double-take on a neighbourly dispute, the first third a visceral account of the narrator’s attack on a farmer, the rest a dialogue which slowly reveals a) the source of the dispute, b) that the attack took place only in the narrator’s imagination, and c) how the dispute was really (almost comically) resolved. Innovative and engaging. 

Dancing with Parkinson’s

A wonderfully informative piece about what Parkinson’s feels like from the inside. The first half works best by focusing on dance; the second half is more of a summary rather than recounting particular episodes. I’d love to see the author write a whole book on the subject.

I Have My Suspicions about That Dachshund 

Gripping account about the theft of a dog (along with a truck) and its recovery. Simple, direct and at times very funny, with revealing insights into both the schisms in and the tightness of a rural community.


 

Short-list (Alphabetical order):

 There are 60 memoirs on the short-list. (There were 1,301 entries in total.)

Note: It has been suggested that we only publish authors’ names from the long and short-listed entries, and not the titles. If this is a concern, please email info@fishpublishing.com.

How could you be so stupid? A dialogue with myself.

Stephen

Abbott

Lost Chord

Hal

Ackerman

The Dark Of Reason

KEVIN

ACOTT

Friends

Dom

Amatuzio

The House of Caves

Polly

Atkin

A Summer’s Day

Tony

Barrett

Melting Time

Francesca

Beddie

Blood and Roses

Mary

Black

The Last Day of the USSR

Terry

Bushell

Framing the Land

Linda

Calvey

How to Hold A Chopstick

Jenny

Chang

Driftwood

casey

charles

Up the Town

Emma

Cummins

some times abroad

Penelope

Curtis

Borderline Insanity

Anthony

Dew

Ripper

Bryony

Doran

half made up …

Rebecca

Farmer

The point is the butterfly drowns

Nikki

Friedman

Fissure

Ellyn

Gelman

The Duck-Rabbit Thing

Lou

Goldberg

River Hunt

fred

haefele

Queen Catherine’s Kitchen

Jonathan

Hauxwell

The Canyons of Her Mind

Lesley

Holmes

Born with a Bomb

Helga

Horsthemke

Till Someone Else Remains

Porter

Huddleston

Don’t Feed on Carrion

Mary

Irving

I have my suspicions about that Dachshund

Alice

Jolly

First find the right soill

anne m

jones

The Lake

Caitriona

Kelly

One of Those Girls

Lucinda

Kempe

Wyatt Brothers

Tom

King

Schmaltz

Francesca

Leonie

Fat Lip

Stephanie

Liberatore

Traverse and restore

Priya

Logan

Burbank Circle

Angela

Long

Dancing with Parkinson’s

Leslie

Mapp

Memoir of a National Service Officer

Brian

Martin

Jimmy Cagney’s Not My Dad

Sherri

Matthews

The Ides of March

Matt

Mauch

Skin Craft

Marcia

Meier

Idling away

Jørgen

Møller

Aldersnap

Marion

Molteno

Stranded

paddy

moore

A Bucket of Current

John

Moran

Holes

Liz

Nicholas

Controlling chaos

Julia

O’Hara

Of All Things Temporary

Adam

O’Keeffe

Becoming

Hannah

Persaud

The Truth Tale

PIA

RABIN

Bread Run

Richard

Robbins

Johannesburg 1954

Ruth

Schmidt Neven

The Beat May Not Go On

Marcia

Schultz

Belfast

Michelle

Scorziello

Reflection on Mortality

pierce

scranton

The Headingly Cowboy

Chris

Smith

Buzz Saw in Seven Parts

Carmen

Speer

To Tahiti in 2020

Rachael

Sprot

Eleven Seconds

Julia

Tjeknavorian

The Dead They’re Never Coming Back

Robert

Wallace

The Sense of a Funeral

Donna

Ward

Dreams of Foreign Cities

Martha

Wiseman

The Baby Book

Graham

Woodroffe

 


 

Long-list:

There are 196 memoirs on the long-list. (There were 1,301 entries in total.)

How could you be so stupid? A dialogue with myself.

Stephen

Abbott

Lost Chord

Hal

Ackerman

The Dark Of Reason

KEVIN

ACOTT

Square Level True

Mara

Adamitz Scrupe

Take Wing Sis

Tess

Adams

Neither here, nor there

Amanda

Addison

Friends

Dom

Amatuzio

Slices of Life

janet

applegarth

The House of Caves

Polly

Atkin

Out There

Doaa

Baker

A Summer’s Day

Tony

Barrett

Bandaged legs on a floral bedspread

Roxanne

Batty

Tiny Golden Seeds

Kathy

Beach

Melting Time

Francesca

Beddie

LOOKING FOR A WAGON

Carole

Berkson

Women Bleed

Sue

Bevan

How could it happen?

Judy

Birkbeck

Blood and Roses

Mary

Black

House

rosalind

bouverie

Broken Lines

Mary

Brown

The Legacy

J. R.

Brown

The Last Day of the USSR

Terry

Bushell

My Time to Shine

Derek

Byrne

Framing the Land

Linda

Calvey

Puta de Cana

Maria

Carson

How to Hold A Chopstick

Jenny

Chang

Driftwood

casey

charles

Zanzibar

Phyllida

Clarke

A Woman In White

Edel

Coffey

On Track

Rhonda

Collis

reunion

Rebecca

Couper

God’s Clothesline

Eanlai

Cronin

Up the Town

Emma

Cummins

Mystic Hills

Charles

Curtis

some times abroad

Penelope

Curtis

The Crossing to England

Amir

Darwish

The Artist and the Birdman

Katherine

Davey

Parts Per Million

Andrew

DeVoy

Borderline Insanity

Anthony

Dew

A Significance of Blood

bryony

doran

Ripper

bryony

doran

Ripper

Bryony

Doran

The Merry-Go-Round

Elizabeth

Doyle

Duff by Nature

Nicola

Duff

“A Pink Tale”

ana

duffy

Disgraced

Jennifer

Durban

Arches

Julian

Edelman

Sands of Time

Mel

Eldridge

UNEVEN SURFACES

Carmen

Estevez

Being Middle Class or Brexit and Me

mary

evans

half made up …

Rebecca

Farmer

My very, very old mum

max

farrar

Soviet Childhood

Victor

Figueroa

Time Trial

Dave

Fisher

Duckie and Me

Robert

Freedman

The Pilgrimage

Jane

Freeman

The point is the butterfly drowns

Nikki

Friedman

Scottish Convent Boy

Mark

Gallacher

Fissure

Ellyn

Gelman

“The Limited Possibility of Second Chances”

Sharon

Gillespie

Seven Things You Might Not Know About Fainting Goats

DIANE

GOETTEL

The Duck-Rabbit Thing

Lou

Goldberg

Mother, Mother: Lost and Found

Lisa

Greggo

ALL THE KING’S HORSES

JULIA

GRIGG

River Hunt

fred

haefele

Naming Dogs from Memory

Neil

Harrison

Queen Catherine’s Kitchen

Jonathan

Hauxwell

Ride into the dark

Michael

Heffernan

Return to Innocence

Niall

Heffernan

Connecticut: A Horse Happening

Janet M

Hicks

Unwritten Postcards from the Void

Rachael

Hill

Certain Changes in the Region of the Heart

Judy

Hindley

You on a Mountain

Rachel

Hinkel-Wang

The Canyons of Her Mind

Lesley

Holmes

Water and Unity 水共洪

Allison

Hong Merrill

ARRIVAL

Kim

Hope

Born with a Bomb

Helga

Horsthemke

Dumb Cow

Liz

Houchin

Whispering to Our Sons

Porter

Huddleston

The Tillamook Conspiracy

Porter

Huddleston

Till Someone Else Remains

Porter

Huddleston

Shoveling Sand (Updated Version)

Justin

Hunt

Bulls and Scars

Nick

Hunt

Chicken

Giovanna

Iozzi

Don’t Feed on Carrion

Mary

Irving

Escape from Execution

Sagamba Muhira &

James Page

I have my suspicions about that Dachshund

Alice

Jolly

Brian and me – his illness, my life

Portland

Jones

All You Need To Know About Grandad

Romi

Jones

First find the right soill

anne m

jones

Not Brave Enough

Linda

Jorgenson

A Morning Tide

Avril

Joy

The Blarney Man

John

Karter

“No One Will Notice.”

Brian

Kelly

The Lake

Caitriona

Kelly

The System

Bella

Kemble

One of Those Girls

Lucinda

Kempe

Whatever Else

Jim

King

Shoot the Messenger

Tom

King

Wyatt Brothers

Tom

King

Rosaleen

Peter

Kingston

Again and Again

Sally

Krueger-Wyman

Two Trips Behind the Iron Curtain

Joanne

Langdale

Time Laid Gently On Its Side

Kathleen

Langstroth

Peg o’ My Heart

Katherine

Leisering

Health and Safety

Siobhan

Lennon

Moses

Siobhan

Lennon

Schmaltz

Francesca

Leonie

A Pinch of paprika

Helen

Lewis

Fat Lip

Stephanie

Liberatore

“Disappear”

Scott

Lipanovich

Traverse and restore

Priya

Logan

Burbank Circle

Angela

Long

The Sacred Disease

Daniel

Lovatt

A Matter of Softness

Teegan

Mannion

Dancing with Parkinson’s

Leslie

Mapp

Memoir of a National Service Officer

Brian

Martin

Jimmy Cagney’s Not My Dad

Sherri

Matthews

The Ides of March

Matt

Mauch

Black Flowers and Brahms

Barbara

Mayo-Wells

The Room above the E of Eden

Jo

Mazelis

The Monday Man

Angela

McCabe

Sinners and Saints

Alan

McCormick

Commonplace

Laura

McDonagh

This is why, this is me.

Graham

Meaden

Skin Craft

Marcia

Meier

On Writing Home

Barbara

Mogerley

Idling away

Jørgen

Møller

Aldersnap

Marion

Molteno

Aldersnap

Marion

Molteno

Crow Pose

Mandy

Moore

Stranded

paddy

moore

A Bucket of Current

John

Moran

THe Girl  That Flies

Catherine

Moscatt

Flies

Sean W

Murphy

Sunday Afternoons With Ian.

Nicola

Murray

Ma

Colleen

Newquist

THE HOUSE ON MAIN STREET

Cláir

Ní Aonghusa

Holes

Liz

Nicholas

Sausage in the pushchair

Judith

Nicol

I Knew the President’s Name

Jen

Nightingale

Martial Law

Amanda

Noble

In a Nickname

Eileen

O’Connor

Locker Lockout

Joan

O’Grady

Controlling chaos

Julia

O’Hara

Of All Things Temporary

Adam

O’Keeffe

Death’s Alphabet: Prolegomenon to A Memoir

TAIWO ADETUNJI

OSINUBI

Virginity

Ainhoa

Palacios

Routeburn

Mellisa

Pascale

Becoming

Hannah

Persaud

A Sunday Dinner Outing

Vivian

Pisano

The Truth Tale

PIA

RABIN

The Fabulous Salami Brothers

Mat

Ricardo

FRENCH AFFAIRS

Jane

Riddell

Bread Run

Richard

Robbins

Failing Angela

Rob

Roberts

Parabola

Howard

Robertson

Unravelling

Carey

Saunders

Johannesburg 1954

Ruth

Schmidt Neven

The Beat May Not Go On

Marcia

Schultz

Belfast

Michelle

Scorziello

Reflection on Mortality

pierce

scranton

13 Months

Kelley

Smith

Playing Statues with Iris

Richard

Smith

Though she is fierce she is loved

Richard

Smith

The Headingly Cowboy

Chris

Smith

What’s So Bad about Rape?

Carmen

Speer

Buzz Saw in Seven Parts

Carmen

Speer

Skyway

Kate

Spitzmiller

To Tahiti in 2020

Rachael

Sprot

An Epic Bromance or Rocky has His Day in Court

Faye

Srala

Love Bottle

Jill

Strachan

Tomorrow I Will Ask Him What He Really Did In The War

Kevin

Sutton

A View Near the Borderline

Ann

Thompson

Eleven Seconds

Julia

Tjeknavorian

GIVING UP

Lily

Todd

Scarcely Loved

Elizabeth

Tranquilli

Feast Day

Natasha

Tripney

TWO EGGS FOR ABBOTT AND COSTELLO

Erica

Van Horn

Blind Spot

Lynette

Vialet

The Dead They’re Never Coming Back

Robert

Wallace

Black and Blue

Roxy

Walsh

Into the Blue

Michelle

Walshe

Rupture

Cally

Ward

The Sense of a Funeral

Donna

Ward

A little book of friends – Yanick

Michael

Wells

One Dark Blot

Brad

Whitehurst

Rhodesia 1966

Elizabeth

Whittome

The Engineer’s Daughter

Mary

Williams

The Reflecting Pool And Other Brushes With The Unexplained

Guinotte

Wise

Dreams of Foreign Cities

Martha

Wiseman

The Baby Book

Graham

Woodroffe

The Child is father to the Man

Michael

Woolman

Where Are You Now?

Enda

Wyley

Replanting again and again

Aydin

Yildirim

Pavan and Me: A Non-Retirement Story

Claire

Yurdin

Parents Night

Jim

Zervanos

 

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Five O’Clock Shadow

I feel like issuing a health warning with this Fish Anthology ­ these stories may seriously damage your outlook – Here the writers view the world in their unique way, and have the imagination, talent, and the courage to refine it into that most surprising of all art forms ­ the short story. – Clem Cairns.


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From the Bering Strait

Every story in this book makes its own original way in the world. knowing which are the telling moments, and showing them to us. And as the narrator of the winning story casually remarks, ‘Sometimes its the small things that amaze me’ – Molly McCloskey


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Scrap Magic

The stories here possess the difference, the quirkiness and the spark. They follow their own road and their own ideas their own way. It is a valuable quality which makes this collection a varied one. Read it, I hope you say to yourself like I did on many occasions, ‘That’s deadly. How did they think of that?’ – Eamonn Sweeney


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Dog Day

Really good short stories like these, don’t read like they were written. They read like they simply grew on the page. – Joseph O’Connor


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The Stranger

The writers in this collection can write short stories . . . their quality is the only thing they have in common. – Roddy Doyle


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The Fish Garden

This is the first volume of short stories from Ireland’s newest publishing house. We are proud that fish has enabled 15 budding new writers be published in this anthology, and I look forward to seeing many of them in print again.


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12 Miles Out – a novel by Nick Wright

12 Miles Out was selected by David Mitchell as the winner of the Fish Unpublished Novel Award.
A love story, thriller and historical novel; funny and sad, uplifting and enlightening.


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Altergeist – a novel by Tim Booth

You only know who you can’t trust. You can’t trust the law, because there’s none in New Ireland. You can’t trust the Church, because they think they’re the law. And you can’t trust the State, because they think they’re the Church And most of all, you can’t trust your friends, because you can’t remember who they were anymore.


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Small City Blues numbers 1 to 51 – a novel by Martin Kelleher

A memoir of urban life, chronicled through its central character, Mackey. From momentary reflections to stories about his break with childhood and adolescence, the early introduction to the Big World, the discovery of romance and then love, the powerlessness of ordinary people, the weaknesses that end in disappointment and the strengths that help them seek redemption and belonging.


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The Woman Who Swallowed the Book of Kells – Collection of Short Stories by Ian Wild

Ian Wild’s stories mix Monty Python with Hammer Horror, and the Beatles with Shakespeare, but his anarchic style and sense of humour remain very much his own in this collection of tall tales from another planet. Where else would you find vengeful organs, the inside story of Eleanor Rigby, mobile moustaches, and Vikings looting a Cork City branch of Abracababra?


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News & Articles

Poetry Prize 2021 Results, Long and Short-lists

15th May 2021
  Winners Short-list Long-list     Winners Here are the 10 winners, as chosen by judge Billy Collins, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2021 The Fish Anthology 2021 will  be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (July 2021), as an online event. The 10 winning poems will be published in […]

Flash Fiction Prize 2021: Results, Short & Long-lists

10th April 2021
Winners Short-list Long-list   From all of us at Fish, Congratulations to the writers whose Flash Stories were short or long-listed, and to the 10 winners.   Winners Here are the 10 winning Flash Fiction Stories, as chosen by Kathy Fish, to be published in the FISH ANTHOLOGY 2021. Comments on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd […]

Short Memoir Prize 2021: Results, Short & Long-lists

1st April 2021
Winners Short-list Long-list On behalf of all of us at Fish, we congratulate the 10 winners who made it to the Anthology, and those writers who made the long and short-lists.   The 10 Winners: Selected by Blake Morrison.         These 10 winners will be published in the Fish Anthology 2021. FIRST […]

Short Story Prize 2020/21: Results, Short & Long-lists

17th March 2021
Winners Short-list Long-list On behalf of all of us at Fish, we would like to congratulate the 10 winners and also those who made the short and long lists.   The Ten Winners: Selected by Emily Ruskovich The 10 winners will be published in the Fish Anthology 2021. (There were 1,631 entries to the competition.) […]

Fish Anthology 2020

9th November 2020
The Fish Anthology 2020 is now available. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to publish work from these wonderful writers. I could see great stretches of imagination. I saw experimentation. I saw novelty with voice and style. I saw sentences that embraced both meaning and music. ~ Colum McCann Read more about the […]

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