Short Story (5000 words) Winners (Top 3)

Short Story (5000 words) Winners (Top 3)

Top 3 Short Story

Congratulations to our winners. All comments below are from our judge, Annie DeWitt.

“I was struck most by the international nature of these submissions – which traversed the globe in both setting and sentiment. Each offering their own rare gem in compressed form, narratively excavating what it means to be human in these fraught contemporary times.”

3rd Prize: Cedok 87 by Sinead ni Braoin (IRE)

“Translation is at the center of this transportative short story which, on its surface, paints a grainy picture of an English-speaking couple’s fraught road trip from West Germany to Prague, the Czech capital. The social and political undertones are what interests me most here. How does young love, and the expectations that go with it, mirror the simple act of translating languages which often don’t mesh due to disparate personal histories.

2nd Prize: The Horse by Randy Rex (USA)

“‘The Horse’ puts me in the mind of my favorite DeLlilo novella, The Body Artist, with its meditation on how loss inhabits the living. An elderly woman wanders about town with a wooden spoon in her pocket looking for her husband, whom no-one seems to have seen or even, strangely, even to have known. Is she suffering dementia? Has the husband died? Did she really love him at all? Is his disappearance a manifestation of her own willful descent out of love into habit and decay?”

1st Prize: Dark Birdy Eyes by Lou Kramskoy (ENG)

“As George Saunders says in his inimitable essay on craft, “Rise, Baby Rise,” the quickest way to elevate the stakes in a short story is to create a series of interesting “gas-stations” which “fling our little car forward.” That’s exactly what this beautifully crafted short short achieves. A woman’s mourning for her lost son is captured in a series of scenes that escalate in their surreal brevity.”

Well done to the winners. We’ll be awarding the prizes in Valletta on 18th October, 2023, as part of our collaboration with the Malta Book Festival.