The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award! Every year, I read the names of the longlisted entrants. Every year, I watch that longlist being slashed to a shortlist. Every year, I read the shortlisted stories, and contemplate how each of those stories was stitched together, and await the announcement of the winner. And this year, this year, my name is on the longlist!
It was announced on February 1st. I had been informed by a lovely lady from Booktrust that my name would appear on the list two weeks earlier, so I was expecting it. What I was not expecting was the response to the announcement. I was inundated with good wishes and requests for interviews. I found myself answering emails late into many nights, getting up at 5.30 one morning to appear on a radio show, enduring seeing my photograph in the newspapers.
The entire experience has been amazing (apart from seeing my photograph splashed about, of course) and I’m thrilled that the longlist can be viewed on the Booktrust website. How funny, to see my own name between Mark Haddon’s and Yiyun Li’s!
The longlisted stories are also all available to read on the Sunday Times website for the first time this year, which I think is a wonderful idea.
The shortlist will be announced on March 1st, and I’ve already made my predictions. I look forward, as I do every year, to awaiting the announcement of the winner. If I could be doing that at Stationer’s Hall as a shortlisted entrant, well, that really would add to the excitement! But my own name does not sit amongst my predictions. I’m honoured to have made it this far, and I’ll start working on next year’s entry soon!