Edge Hill Short Story Competition–Readers’ Prize

Get Into Reading manager Kate McDonnell writes with news of Get Into Reading’s involvement with the 2008 Edge Hill Short Story Competition. The shortlist for the £5000 prize for the best single author short story collection published in the last year, was announced in May. Get Into Reading reading groups have been asked to judge individual stories. This is a new experience for them. Kate says:

I was approached by Ailsa Cox, the organiser, who had heard of GIR and liked the idea of putting the stories before our readers and asking them to judge the £1000 Readers’ prize.

The 5-strong shortlist is settled on by a judging panel (which this year includes Hilary Mantel) and Ailsa has selected one story from each of these collections for us to read with our groups. The names of the authors have been removed.

In GIR groups, we usually reflect on a book a little when we’ve finished it, but much of our discussion is immediately reactive–focussing on what’s in the book as we read it, what it suggests to us and what it means to us as individuals–but this time we’ve been asked to stand back from what we’ve read and see it as an object–and it’s been very interesting and different. The short story is a problem form for many–often feeling either inconsequential or incomplete, but so far our readers have been very open minded and sophisticated in their choices.

The award ceremony for the prize is to be held at the Bluecoat Art Centre in Liverpool in July. Read more about the shortlist here.

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