London Short Story Prize 2018 winner announced


Spread the Word is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2018 London Short Story Prize is Guy Ware for his story the year of peace. Highly commended were A Complete History of Portraiture by Kira McPherson and Dead Shark by Emma Hutton.

There were over 500 entries to the competition, which aims to find the best stories and writers coming out of the capital. The judges, authors Guy Gunaratne and Clare Fisher, and agent Sarah Such, chose the winner from a high quality selection of stories in a variety of genres, styles and subject matter.

Clare Fisher said that: “I was astounded by the quality, diversity and originality of this longlist. These stories will make you laugh, cry and think; they will take you to new and unexpected emotional and physical landscapes. These writers aren’t merely talented – they’ve got flair and guts. I look forward to seeing what they do next.”

The winner receives £1,000 and a meeting with an agent. The two highly commended authors receive £250 and a meeting with an editor. Further prizes include places on Spread the Word courses, and membership to the London Writers Network. The twelve longlisted writers will see their stories published in the London Short Story Anthology 2018, produced by Kingston University Press and launched in April 2019.

Sarah Such said of the ‘year of peace that it was “the unanimous winner. It was the story that most moved, excited, enthralled and inspired me. Beautifully written in a spare but accessible form, by turns elegant and lyrical, a man and woman meet in London four or five times each year as their relationship evolves through remembrance of an historic coup in her father’s country. Tender and begging many questions, it’s a haunting story that plays assuredly with the reader’s emotions.”

Guy Ware says “I’m delighted that theyear of peace’ has been chosen. Writing it was a gamble, so finding readers and judges who think it has paid off is a real boost. It’s the encouragement I need to keep taking risks, keep pushing stories I believe in.”

Ruth Harrison, Director, Spread the Word said: “It is evident that the short story form is thriving in London, and the quality and quantity of entries that we received show the vitality of the capital’s writing scene. We’re thrilled to once again be able to reward and showcase the talent that is out there.”

The full London Short Story Prize 2018 list is as follows:


the year of peace – Guy Ware

Highly Commended

A Complete History of Portraiture – Kira McPherson

Dead Shark – Emma Hutton


Chicken Shop Girl – Katie Lumsden

Like A Blooming Discotheque – Judith Wilson

Real Estate – CG Menon


As Close As It Comes – Adam Welch

End of Terrace – Luan Goldie

First Time Ever – Erika Banerji

Granda – Ken Barlow

Madrid – B R Porter

Strange Inherited Jazz – Lou Kramskoy

Ten of these short stories will be published in The London Short Story Prize Anthology 2018, which will be launched in April 2019. More details coming soon – watch this space!

Published 27 November 2018