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Short story prize Shortlist with names 2024.jpg
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Victoria Manifold - The Scheme

Victoria Manifold is a writer and trade union worker from County Durham. She was shortlisted for The White Review Short Story Prize in 2016 and 2018 and a runner up in the 2019 Berlin Writing Prize. She was also shortlisted for the 2021 Desperate Literature Prize and was a runner-up in the 2022 Mslexia Short Story Prize. In 2023 she was shortlisted for the Richell Prize for her novel-in-progress The Election of the Mayor

I am delighted to have won the Short Fiction International Short Story Prize, to be selected by judges as talented as Yan Ge and Wendy Erskine is truly an honour. The Scheme is a story that grew out of my experiences as a working-class person feeling out of place. It took a number of years, and many re-drafts, to get right and I am so glad that it has found a home in Short Fiction, a journal I have long admired. 

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Alessandra Thom - Mould and Mildew

Alessandra Thom is a writer from Aberdeenshire. She was a Scottish Book Trust New Writer's Awardee for Prose 2023. Her fiction has appeared in Gutter Magazine. Her first novel, SUMMER HOURS, will be published by Birlinn in 2025. 

I am so excited to be a runner-up for this wonderful prize and very grateful to the team of readers and to Yan Ge and Wendy Erskine for selecting my story. It’s a real privilege. I’m really looking forward to reading the other stories! 


Third place

Shauna Mackay - Harbour Control

Shauna Mackay is an award-winning writer who has stories published with several journals, most recently AGNI and Fictionable.

Thank you Short Fiction editors, and judges for awarding this story 3rd place. I finished it ages ago — thought I had — stuck a poetic title on it. I don’t think the characters liked it. Had to change it to Harbour Control. Also, there was a piece of the main character’s story missing. It only took seven years for her to tell me! Or did she just wait until I realised? I’m so pleased this story is, it now seems, ready to be read.

Yan Ge and Wendy Erskine

Short Fiction International Short Story Prize 2024 judges 

"A dazzling showcase of the vibrant possibilities and consummate depth of short fiction as an art. The six stories on the shortlist are dextrously told to disrupt, provoke and inspire. Exceptionally controlled and shrewd, the winning story, The Scheme, looks into the frenzied, nebulous abyss of a post-capitalist society. Under its sometimes deadpan, sometimes grotesque surface, we see the outrage and bewilderment of being young – of being vulnerable, reckless and hopeful.  The runner-up, Mould and Mildew is at once resigned, angry, funny and incisive.  With poise and intelligence, it shows the impact - psychologically and physically - of particular material conditions.The transformational power of an unexpected friendship between two women is presented with considerable power, empathy and depth in the third prize winner, Harbour Control, which confirms yet again that characterisation in a short story can achieve exceptional nuance and complexity."

Thanks to everyone who entered - it has been a joy to read your work! The Short Fiction International Short Story Prize will return next year!

And a special thanks to our brilliant judges:


Yan Ge was born in Sichuan, China in 1984. She is a fiction writer in both Chinese and English, and is the author of fourteen books in Chinese, including six novels. She has received numerous awards and was named by People’s Literature magazine as one of twenty future literature masters in China. Her work has been translated into eleven languages, including English, French and German. The latest English translation of her novel, Strange Beasts of China, was one of The New York Times Notable Books of 2021. Yan’s English writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Irish Times, TLS, Granta, The Stinging Fly and elsewhere. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she was the recipient of the UEA International Award 2018/19. Her English language debut short story collection Elsewhere was published by Faber in the UK and Scribner in the USA in summer 2023. Yan lives in Norwich with her husband and son.

Wendy Erskine is the author of two short story collections, Sweet Home and Dance Move. She edited an anthology, well I just kind of like it, on art in the home and the home as art. Her non-fiction has appeared in The Guardian, The Quietus and many other publications. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she has been listed for the Edgehill Prize, the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize and the Sunday Times Short Story Award.  She was awarded the Butler Prize for Literature.  She is a full-time secondary school teacher.

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