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Short Story Prize 2023/24: RESULTS

Winners

Short-list

Long-list

 

On behalf of all of us at Fish, congratulations to all of you who made the long and the short-lists. 

Apologies for the delay in this announcement.

Sarah Hall

Judge, Sarah Hall

The 10 winners will be published in the Fish Anthology 2024.

The launch will be during the West Cork Literary Festival, Bantry, Ireland – 15 July. Venue: Marino Church, 6.30 pm. It is a free event and all are welcome.

(There were 1,256 entries to the competition.)

 


 

First Prize:

Alison Fields, Fish Short Story 2023/24 winner

Second Sight by Alison Fields

 

 

 

Second Prize:

Eve Thomson Fish Short Story Prize winnerThe Other Life by Eve Thomson

 

 

 

Third Prize:

Continuity Error by Ewan GaultEwan Gault Fish Short Story Prize 2023/34

 

 

 

Honorary Mentions (no particular order):

 

Cath Sampson: Fish Short Story Prize 2023Cargo by Cath Sampson

 

 

Joshua Davis: Fish Short Story Prize 2023The Liberating Death of Freedom by Joshua Davis

 

 

Amanda Hildebrandt: Fish Short Story prize 2023, winner.The Nail House by Amanda Hildebrandt

 

 

Laura Kyle: Fish Short Story Prize 2023, winner.My da’s a Hero by Laura Kyle

 

 

Monica Corish: Fish Short Story Prize 2023, winner.The Púca’s Share by Monica Corish

 

 

Rowland Cooke: Fish Short Story Prize 2023, winnerPolishing The Silence by Rowland Cooke

 

 

Garret Dwyer Joyce: Fish Short Story Prize 2023, winner.Derry Blue by Garret Dwyer Joyce

 

 

 

 

Sarah Hall’s comments on the ten winning stories:

 

Winner – Second Sight

What a wonderful, fully-rounded and gripping story this is! The characterisations, landscaping and the drama are so well calibrated; it feels like a vivid, compressed, atmospheric world, with humane and dynamic personalities inside that have histories and emotional complexity. All the component parts work well together. The prose is beautiful, perfectly-gaged, tense, clean, suited to both place and character; the descriptions are both astute and evocative. It’s a very rewarding read, and it utterly transported me while reading – I forgot where I was completely! – appealing to all the senses, visually stimulating, and page-turning.  

 

Second Place – The Other Life

This is a really intelligent, coruscating, witty piece of writing that skilfully uses the very compelling and entertaining voice of its main character to explore family relationships, history, gender dynamics and the drama/art controversy set up by its premise. The story unfolds really skilfully and surprisingly. This author has a brilliant talent for narrative voice and intrigue, and an ability to create strangeness and disquiet (the operating keys of the form), and to move the reader without being sentimental.

 

Third Place – Continuity Error

A fantastic, very atmospheric tale, that is both funny and tragic. The drama is really well contained, with a sense of context around it – a hinterland – which is a sign of a writer who really understand the form of the short story, what to include, and what to allude to. I loved the use of the demotic, and the language and descriptions – the metaphors especially – are so well written. The choice of subject is unusual, marginal, and very well handled. Much admiration for this writer. 

 

Runners Up:

Cargo –   
A very well written story, with a neat community drama inside, an interesting shift of narrative perspectives, and careful handling of history.

 

The Liberating Death of Freedom –
This is a skilfully handled story, that keeps a lid on the tension and keeps a steady, suitable, almost detached tone throughout, which, by the end of the story, comes into its own and pays dividends. 

 

The Nail House – 
A super, smart, colourful and playfully linguistic tale, which is a riot to read and uses its odder qualities to brilliant ends. 

 

My da’s A Hero – 
A great attempt at a story with driving plot, using political troubles and character conflict to create a small crucible of tension, intrigue and revelation. 

 

The Puca’s Share – 
Loved the creativity and playful inventiveness of this story, which lands somewhere between adult & children’s fiction and has a real sense of folkloric verve and moral engagement to it. 

 

Polishing The Silence – 
A compelling, subversive story, that takes on disquieting subject matter, human flaws and breaking points, and walks a tricky line with them using cleverly understated prose.

 

Derry Blue – 
A melancholy, cleanly written story about trauma, the loneliness of grief, and how the aftermath of damage and loss has no neat ending.

 

 


 

Short-list:

(alphabetical order) There are 46 stories on the short-list. 

 

Alex Rourke

Amphibian

Alison Fields

Second Sight

Amanda Hildebrandt

The Nail House

Cathy Sampson

Cargo

Chloe Banks

Blighty One

Clayton Bradshaw

The Two Things Blassie Knows

Dale Marie

Shadow Companions

Dan Micklethwaite

Like Everest Maybe, or El Capitan

David Smith

Kintsugi

deirdre devally

The Inquest

Donna Brown

Suddenly, and with Flowers

Elizabeth Whyatt

Another Country

Elizabeth Whyatt

Indigo Shore

Eve Thomson

The Other Life

Ewan Gault

Continuity Error

Garret Dwyer Joyce

Derry Blue

Jay McKenzie

Hairdressing Tips for Ugly Girls

Joshua Davis

The Liberating Death of Freedom

Julian Wakeling

Greetings From LA

Justine Busto

Espejo Majico

Kyleigh Leddy

Perpetual Sunset

Laura Kyle

My da’s a Hero

Lesley Bannatyne

Coaxing Sugar From the Trees

Liam Keller

Fill Your Pockets With Stones

Liz Houchin

Fluorescent Blues

Liza Hartley

The Sound of the Pigs

Lorcan Byrne

The Egret

Maggie Ling

The Last Time I Saw Richard

Marc Joan

Golden Mummy

Mark Johnson

All Good

Martin Costello

Eddie Grouse

Matilda KIME

REST

Max Youngman

WHITE RABBITS

Monica Corish

The Púca’s Share

Natasha Hutcheson

Gill Drayton’s Plunder – a Scrapbook

Niamh Mac Cabe

The Third Beagle

Rachel Bowman

Help for Kitty Hopkins’ Nerves

Ronan Ryan

Ghoul

Rowland Cooke

Polishing the Silence

Rupert Dastur

Love, at the Deepest Point

sean coffey

Academic Affairs

Shamaine Loo

The Second Can Wait

Sheila Killian

Flight

Sofie De Smyter

Q&A

Thomas Gabrielson

NOT THAT EASY

Vincent Barton

HAPAX LEGOMENON

 

 


 

Long-list:

(alphabetical order)

There are 134 stories in the long-list. 

 

Adam Oliver

La Hora Azul

Alex Rourke

Amphibian

Alexander Cullen

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Alice Murray

Greta

Alison Fields

Second Sight

AM Ruiz Zepeda

Leopard Seals

Amanda Garrie

Leaving the Sea

Amanda Hildebrandt

No Safe Place

Amanda Hildebrandt

The Nail House

Andrew Hanson

In Place of Ashes

Ann Landi

Three Women

Anna Linstrum

He Sits Amid His Finery

Ben James

Animal Spirits

Benedict Pignatelli

A Murder of Crows

Bill Zaget

The Enfolding Space

Cathy Sampson

Cargo

Charles Cooper

Pas Si Prêt à Porter (Not So Ready to Wear)

Chloe Banks

Blighty One

Clayton Bradshaw

The Two Things Blassie Knows

Dale Marie

Shadow Companions

Dan Micklethwaite

Like Everest Maybe, or El Capitan

Dan Winterson

About Now Sounds Right

Daniel Larbi

Board of Governors of Shepherd High School

David Smith

Kintsugi

deirdre devally

The Inquest

Dennis McNamara

By Sea By Land

Donna Brown

Suddenly, and with Flowers

Dylan Pritchard

Vergogna

Edward Fry

Best of Three

Elaine McCluskey

Father Eduardo

Elizabeth Whyatt

Another Country

Elizabeth Whyatt

Indigo Shore

emily grabham

Joy Lane

Emily Ruth Ford

See Me

Emma Penruddock

The Shape of an S

Esme Gutch

The Only Truth She Knows is Pa…

Evan Boyer

Smuggling Seminar for the Elderly and Disabled

Eve Thomson

The Other Life

Ewan Gault

Continuity Error

Feargal Ó Dubhghaill

My Quizmaster Voice

Finn Dignan

The Standstill

Frances Gapper

Mrs Foxglove

Garret Dwyer Joyce

Derry Blue

Gill Gregory

The Speck In Her Eye

Guy Mitchell

Saver Girl

Hilary Bell

Cliffs

hugh mccormack

Keep Spinning

Jack Z

Hurling

James Lee

Ed

Jane Dabate

Garbage

Jay McKenzie

Hairdressing Tips for Ugly Girls

Jennifer Bailey

A Fish Story

Jessica White

Esther

Jim O’Connor

Et in Arcadia

John Fullman

Luck…A Long Covid Weekend

Jon Stapley

No Exceptions

Joshua Davis

The Liberating Death of Freedom

Julian Wakeling

Greetings From LA

Juliet Hill

In the Doorway

Justine Busto

Espejo Majico

justine sweeney

Coins in My Fist

Katrina Moinet

Borderline Discomfort

Kate Lockwood Jefford

Dead Friend’s Coat

Kieran Marsh

BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF YOUR WOMB

Kyleigh Leddy

Perpetual Sunset

Laura Kyle

My da’s a Hero

Lesley Bannatyne

Coaxing Sugar From the Trees

Liam Keller

Fill Your Pockets With Stones

Lindsay Gillespie

Window Dressing

Liz Houchin

Fluorescent Blues

Liza Hartley

The Sound of the Pigs

Lorcan Byrne

Rock Dove

Lorcan Byrne

Scallop Shell

Lorcan Byrne

The Egret

Louis Hall

Album Track

M.G. Eugene

Through the Waves of a Melody

Maggie Harris

Under the crab-apple tree

Maggie Ling

The Last Time I Saw Richard

Marc Joan

Golden Mummy

Marc Joan

The Law of the Little Fishes

Marc Joan

The Year That Nothing Comes

Marco Patitucci

Love Means Nothing

Marion Quednau

Pairs of Shoes

Mark de Rond

Summer in Southwark

Mark Johnson

All Good

Martin Costello

Eddie Grouse

Martin Daly

Deora Dé

Mary Black

The Thaw

Mary Black

Her Handsome Prints

Mary Shovelin

The White March

Matilda KIME

REST

Max Youngman

WHITE RABBITS

Megan Jennaway

Radio Hour

Michael Males

Acquired Daughter

Michelle Crowell

The Drama of an Unwanted Separation

Monica Corish

The Púca’s Share

nada marjanovich

The Leftovers

Natalie Southworth

The Pocket Book

Natasha Hutcheson

Gill Drayton’s Plunder – A Scrapbook

Niamh Mac Cabe

The Third Beagle

Nick Okapi

Ministry of Justification

Nikki Barrowclough

Once….

Nina Cullinane

The Fort

Oscar Maloney Hill

Peel

Patricia Mullin

Hush

Paul Bassett Davies

Fit

Paul Buchheit

Crayon Games

Penny Frances

Exposure

Penny Simpson

Until your wild world ends

Peter Hankins

Nemo Kizh – the Fight Against Beauty

Peter Rodgers

One last flirtation

Peter Rose

Illegal Aliens

Phil Cummins

Mug

Rachel Bowman

Help for Kitty Hopkins’ Nerves

Rina Soloveitchik

Her Wholeness

Robert Daseler

A Dictionary of Loneliness

Ronan Ryan

Ghoul

Ronnie Greig

The Night They Bombed Belfast

Rosey Darbishire

S.W.A.L.K

Rowland Cooke

Polishing the Silence

Rupert Dastur

Love, at the Deepest Point

S A Lunn

We’re Not Getting Divorced

Sara Roberts

Seed

sean coffey

Academic Affairs

Shamaine Loo

The Second Can Wait

Shamaine Loo

The Spider Spirits

Shannon Savvas

The Resurrection of Michalis Charalambous

Sharryn Ryan

Bespangling Every Bough

Sheila Killian

Flight

Sofie De Smyter

Q&A

Sophie James

Substitutes

Stephen Flanagan

The Roboticist

Susan Wigmore

OTHER

Tina Cameron

Reckless Redemption

Thomas Gabrielson

BLANK PAGE

Thomas Gabrielson

NOT THAT EASY

Tracey Shillito

Reunion

vincent Barton

HAPAX LEGOMENON

Will Maclean

Quantitative Easing

Ximena Escobar de Nogales

AN INFLATABLE HERO

Zandra Carrington

Maurice and Finnian

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