Short Story Longlist

We are delighted to announce the longlist for our short story competition.

Congratulations to everyone!

We also have some great news;  due to an extraordinarily high number of entries, coupled with their outstanding quality overall, we have decided to award two extra prizes.

The judges will now award:


Winner - £250

Runner Up - £50

Highly Commended - £50

Highly Commended - £50

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Longlisted short story writers

Judge VG Lee says ‘When I began the task of reading almost three hundred submissions for this competition, I rather cynically imagined that the great and the good stories would shine like jewels on a pebbled beach.  To my pleasure and astonishment I found that the beach was in fact made up of jewels while pebbles were few and far between!

Over the ensuing days of reading, I continued to be impressed at the almost universal high quality. I smiled; nodded and even shed a tear on a couple of occasions, the writing was so good.

I’d been asked to compile a longlist. Whittling the numbers down proved difficult but my final choices were made when I was aware of a unique writing voice combined with the ability to bring both characters and story to life.  In the end my longlist exceeded the required total and my many commendations have become a ‘just missed the longlist’ list!

This may sound sentimental but reading so many entries of such a high standard made me feel a great warmth towards all their writers. I only know each by their story title, but I honour them. To all who submitted, well done!’

Longlisted short story writers:


  • Arleen McCombie

  • Colin Brezicki

  • Dianne Bown-Wilson

  • Eamonn McKeon

  • Elizabeth Andreoli

  • Emma Mather

  • Helena Frith Powell

  • Jade Albas

  • Jon Gowlland

  • Kate Coghlan

  • Maria Burke

  • Maureen Cullen

  • Nicky Torode

  • Rob Campbell

  • Stephen Zoltan

Just Missed the Longlist

  • Andrew Jones – The Bridge

  • Anna Reynolds – Thief in the Night

  • Charles Salisbury – Their Forgotten Scent

  • Chris Cottom – The Book of Best Days

  • Dean Gessie – Officers of Adaptation to Climate Change

  • Gavin O'Donnell – Father’s Day

  • Iqbal Hussain – When the Devil has your Tongue

  • Jack Kelly – This Ain’t For You

  • Léa Rancurel – We killed ourselves slowly

  • Maria Burke – All the lonely people, where do they all come from?

  • Michael Pettit – Between Pages

  • Michael Pettit – Sax

  • Richard Hooton – Everything in its Right Place

  • Rory Duffy – Don’t Stop Believin

Thank you to everyone who entered.


The Short List will be announced on 4th September! Good luck to all our longlisted writers and poets!

Hastings Book Festival team