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We are thrilled to announce the Short Fiction/University of Essex International Short Prize 2022 Main Prize and Wild Writing Prize results, organised in partnership with the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies (LiFTS) at the University of Essex:

Main Prize Results:

Winner: Aoife - Trahearne Falvey

2nd Prize: The Grit, The Mussel – Jon Stapley

3rd Prize: Good Job Pressing – Jessica Lee Richardson


Main Prize Shortlist:

Aniela and James: a love story – Wayne Connolly

Beneath I'm All Bare Shoulders and Collarbones – Eimear Arthur

Ladyfingers – M.E. Bronstein

Like Mothers Do – Christina Sanders


Main Prize Longlist:

Across The Dark Water - Ciaran Folan

Destroying The Tank – Sam Hacking

Fool's Errand - Martin Costello

I Took A Train – Rory Duffy

Matamoros, September 1846 – Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Only Half There - Jody O’Neill

Wild Writing Prize Results:

Winner: 'Le Château' by Martin Horn

2nd prize (joint): 'A Snake Island' by Gan Ainm / 'The Dreaming Dog' by Jennifer Change

Wild Writing Prize Shortlist

'My Mother Says No, Stop' by Mathilde Merouani

'Quercivorous' by Charlotte Turnbull 

'Ratty' by Danielle Vrublevskis

I started writing ‘Aoife’ during a time in which I was uncertain about so many things - including my ability to write at all - and the story turned out to be about uncertainty, thinking and living with it. As a writer, doubt is always there, but winning the competition is a brilliant, reassuring reminder to just keep going - Trahearne Falvey, author of 'Aoife'

As climate change becomes less of an abstraction and more of an active and ongoing crisis, I’ve been wondering how that transition unfolds within an individual; how they frame new information that is constantly surfacing, how they manage anxiety, and how they recalibrate their expectations for the possibilities of their own life. My hope was that this story would depict that process in one person and the people around them, both in terms of surviving disaster and in its impact on a much more ordinary set of hopes and aspirations. I am absolutely thrilled and delighted that it has been selected - Martin Horn, author of 'Le Château'

We were really impressed by the standard of the stories. Each one is clean and polished, clearly pored over by its author and written with feeling. Each one shows a desire for innovation and a natural affinity for using voice and rhythm and language in interesting ways. This is a shortlist of talented writers and it will be very interesting to find out who they are when their names are revealed – Seren Adams and Caleb Azumah Nelson, Main Prize Judges

Each of these stories was brave in its attempt at something different and exciting, playing with time or character. I look forward to what these writers do next - Daisy Johnson, Wild Writing Prize judge

There was a really strong sense in these shortlisted entries of a collective of writers powerfully engaging with landscapes and the human presence on those spaces. They were often writing with a vital feeling for the climate emergency we all now face alongside the layering of our relationship with the earth and the natural world we share this world with - James Canton, Wild Writing Prize judge

Thank you to everyone who entered, our university partners the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies (LiFTS) at the University of Essex, and of course our amazing judges, Seren Adams, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Daisy Johnson, and James Canton!

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