Announcement was made last night (Tuesday 31st January) at the prestigious Costa Book Awards ceremony
Over 1000 entries received for this year’s Costa Short Story Award, now in its fifth year and open to both published and unpublished writers
Tuesday 31st January 2017: Jess Kidd, a published debut novelist from Richmond in Surrey, has won the 2016 Costa Short Story Award. Kidd won a public vote where the identities of all three shortlisted writers were unknown.
The announcement was made last night (Tuesday 31st January) at the prestigious Costa Book Awards ceremony in central London which saw Jess presented with a cheque for £3,500 by Costa Managing Director Dominic Paul for her short story, Dirty Little Fishes.
Two runners-up, Billy Callaghan, a writer from Cork in Ireland and writer Rob Ewing from Edinburgh, received £1,000 and £500 respectively.
Over 1000 entries were received for the Costa Short Story Award, now in its fifth year and open to both published and unpublished writers, for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words written in English by an author aged 18 years or over.
Established in 2012, the Award - run in association with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system – is judged anonymously ie without the name of the author being known throughout the process.
The shortlist of three stories was selected by a panel of judges comprising Sarah Franklin, founder of Short Stories Aloud and Senior Lecturer in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University; Radio 2 Book Club producer Joe Haddow; author Adele Parks; Simon Trewin, agent at William Morris Endeavor; and author Kit de Waal, herself a finalist for the Award in 2013, and whose first novel, My Name Is Leon, was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa First Novel Award.
The stories were then made available on the Costa Book Awards website for the public to download and read, and then vote for their favourite.
Jess’s story, Dirty Little Fishes, received the highest number of public votes, followed by The Boatman by Billy Callaghan and The Persistence of Memory by Rob Ewing.
Jess Kidd: Dirty Little Fishes About the story:
A young Irish girl in London accompanies her mother on visits to a dying woman – with curious consequences. About the author:
Jess Kidd completed her first degree in Literature with The Open University, and has since taught creative writing, gained a PhD in Creative Writing Studies and has aspirations to teach writing in the prison service. She has also worked as a support worker specialising in acquired brain injury and as a PA to a Rector.
Her first novel, Himself, was published in October 2016 by Canongate and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2016. Her second novel, Hoarder, will be published in early 2018 and she is currently working on her third novel as well as her first collection of short stories – many of which are either set in Ireland or have Irish protagonists. Jess was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo, and plans to settle somewhere along the west coast of Ireland in the next few years. Until then, she lives in London with her daughter.
Go to www.costa.co.uk/costa-book-awards/costa-short-story-award to read and/or listen to Jess’s winning story and the other two shortlisted ones.
Previous winners of the Award include former headteacher Daniel Murphy from Stirling in Scotland (2015) and writer and PhD student Zoe Gilbert (2014) from Sydenham Hill, South-East London, who is currently completing her first collection of short stories as well as a PhD in Creative Writing.
The 2013 winner, Newcastle-based writer and poet Angela Readman, published her debut short story collection, Don’t Try This At Home, in 2015 by & Other Stories. Her latest collection of poems, The Book of Tides, was published by Nine Arches Press at the end of 2016. Former prison manager and now full-time writer, Avril Joy, from Witton-le-Wear in Bishop Auckland took the inaugural Award in 2012; she has since published an e-book, From Writing with Love.
The Costa Book Awards recognise the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. Originally established by Whitbread PLC in 1971, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK’s prestigious and popular book prize in 2006.
For more information on this year’s Costa Book Awards, go to www.costabookawards.com. -ENDS- ______________________________________________________________ For further press information or to speak to Jess Kidd, please contact:
Costa Book Awards Press and Publicity
Telephone: 07715 922 180
Notes to Editors: About the Costa Short Story Award:
The Costa Short Story Award was launched in 2012.
The Costa Short Story Award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over and written in English.
The author’s primary residence must have been the UK or Ireland for the past three years.
The Award runs in association with the Costa Book Awards but is judged independently of the main five-category system.
Entrants need not have been previously published but publishers and agents may submit entries on behalf of authors.
About the Costa Book Awards:
The Costa Book Awards, formerly the Whitbread Book Awards, were established in 1971 to encourage, promote and celebrate the best contemporary British writing.
The total prize fund for the Costa Book Awards – including the Costa Short Story Award - stands at £60,000.
The award winners from the five categories - Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book - each receive £5,000.
The overall Costa Book of the Year is selected from the five category Award winners with the winner receiving a further £30,000.
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