London Short
Story Prize

Our annual London Short Story Prize seeks to discover, publish and profile the best stories and writers coming out of the capital.

The London Short Story Prize aims to find the best short stories from emerging writers in the capital.

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.

The 2018 judges were authors Guy Gunaratne, Clare Fisher and literary agent, Sarah Such.

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

This year we received 500 entries, from which a longlist of twelve was selected.

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

Winner: the year of peace – Guy Ware

Highly Commended: A Complete History of Portraiture – Kira McPherson, Dead Shark – Emma Hutton

Shortlist: Chicken Shop Girl – Katie Lumsden, Like A Blooming Discotheque – Judith Wilson, Real Estate – CG Menon

Longlist: 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. Congratulations all!


2018 JUDGE

Guy Gunaratne

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Guy Gunaratne grew up in North West London and has worked as a designer, documentary filmmaker and video journalist covering post-conflict areas around the world, as well as co-founding two technology companies. His debut novel is In Our Mad and Furious City.


2018 JUDGE

Clare Fisher

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Clare Fisher was born in 1987 in Tooting, south London. Her debut novel All the Good Things was published by Penguin in 2017. In June 2018 her first collection of short stories, How the Light Gets In, was published by Influx Press.


2018 Judge

Sarah Such

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Sarah Such is a literary agent and founder of Sarah Such Literary Agency, a thriving London-based independent representing a wide range of literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction, YA and children’s. She has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year three times at The British Book Awards, 2017, 2014, 2013, and previously held a variety of senior publishing roles including publicity director at Penguin Books UK, senior editor at Hodder & Stoughton and editorial director at Duckworth. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahsuch.


It’s been a pleasure to judge Spread The Word’s London Short Story Prize 2018 alongside wonderful authors Clare Fisher and Guy Gunaratne, in a year that’s seen a record number of submission from writers, both published and previously unpublished. And I’m so pleased to report that on this evidence the London short story is in rude health.

It’s been particularly exhilarating to read such a high calibre and broad range of bold, original, well written stories that are also gloriously ambitious explorations of the form. The sheer breadth of ideas illustrate that not only does London continue to inspire great short fiction but that it is brimming with talent waiting to be discovered. Here are writers to look out for in the future.

Sarah Such, London Short Story Prize 2018 Judge


the year of peace

Guy Ware, winner

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Guy Ware is the author of more than thirty short stories, including the collection You Have 24 Hours to Love Us (Comma, 2012), and three novels. The Fat of Fed Beasts (Salt, 2015) was selected as a ‘Paperback of the Year’ by Nick Lezard in The Guardian, and described as “Brilliant … the best debut novel I have read in years.” Reconciliation (Salt, 2017) was described by The Literary Review as “memorable and inventive” and by the Guardian as “exhilarating, and very funny”. His third novel, The Faculty of Indifference, will be published in 2019. Guy lives and works in New Cross, South London.

A Complete History of Portraiture

Kira McPherson, highly commended

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Kira McPherson is from Perth, Western Australia. She received a 2018 London Writers Award from Spread the Word, and her short fiction is forthcoming in Westerly magazine. She was shortlisted for the 2017 London Magazine essay competition and longlisted for the 2017 Exeter Writers short story competition. She is working on her first novel.

Dead Shark

Emma Hutton, highly commended

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Emma Hutton is an Irish reader and writer based in London. A Literary Kitchen alumnus, she was runner up in the 2018 The Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition and her work has been read at the Liars’ League live fiction event. Emma is a freelance copywriter and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @weequizzie.

Like a Blooming Discotheque

Judith Wilson, shortlist

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Judith Wilson is a London-based writer and magazine journalist, and the author of 14 non-fiction books. She won First Prize for the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition 2017 and the Retreat West 2016 Short Story Prize; she was also shortlisted for the Bath Short Story Award 2017. She enjoys the concise, concentrated nature of the short story form, but is also working on a novel. She is on Twitter and Instagram @judithwrites.

Real Estate

CG Menon, shortlist

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CG Menon is the author of Subjunctive Moods, published in 2018 by Dahlia Publishing. She has won or been shortlisted for the Bridport, Fish, Bare Fiction, Asian Writer and Willesden Herald prizes. Her work has been broadcast on radio, and she’s been a member of several international short story competition judging panels. She has a PhD in pure mathematics and has completed a creative writing MA at City University. She’s currently working on her first novel, set in 1980s Malaysia.

Chicken Shop Girl

Katie Lumsden, shortlist

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Katie Lumsden is twenty-five years old and has lived in South East London most of her life. She works in publishing and also runs a “Booktube” channel on Youtube, called Books and Things, which has over 7,000 subscribers. She has been writing since she was a teenager and is represented by Louise Buckley of Zeno Agency. She is currently working on a historical novel. She is on Twitter and Instagram @katiejlumsden.

Twitter: @katiejlumsden

As Close As It Comes

Adam Welch, longlist

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Adam Welch is a journalist and editor currently at work on a collection of short stories and his first novel. His fiction has been published in Ambit, while his writing on fashion and culture appears regularly on MR PORTER, where he works as Editorial Director. Follow him on Twitter & Instagram @badambads.


Ken Barlow, longlist

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Ken Barlow was born in Japan, raised in Wales, and now lives in London. He currently works as a book publishing freelancer, having previously been an editorial director at Zed Books. He is writing his first novel.

First Time Ever

Erika Banerji, longlist

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Erika Banerji is a writer and journalist. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and has written for publications including The Observer, The Times of India and The National. Her fiction has been published in several literary journals and in 2018 her short stories have been long listed for the Lorian Hemingway Prize and the RSL V. S Pritchett Prize.


B.R. Porter, longlist

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B.R.Porter moved to London in the late eighties to train as an actor. He has been writing short stories for years but not always finishing them. Then in 2016 he won a place on Arvon’s residential writers retreat, The Clock House, which really helped concentrate his mind. Now he has a story in the anthology, An Eclectic Mix, Vol Six, and hopes to write enough stories for a collection. Earlier this year his girlfriend Sarah clubbed together with friends to send him back to the retreat for another week; an act of kindness he found both deeply touching and slightly disconcerting.

Strange Inherited Jazz

Lou Kramskoy, longlist

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Lou Kramskoy is a London-based animation screenwriter. A recent graduate of the MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck, she is working towards completing her first novel alongside a collection of short stories. Her story Glassblower’s Lung won the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. In 2017 Lou also had stories longlisted for the Mslexia Short Story and Bristol Short Story prizes. She has recently been published in The Mechanics’ Institute Review 15 (2018) and also TSS Publishing on-line.  She is on Twitter @LouKramskoy.

End of Terrace

Luan Goldie, longlist

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Luan Goldie is a writer and teacher from East London. Last year she took part in the Almasi League, an Arts Council funded mentorship program for emerging BAME writers. She went onto win the Costa Short Story Award. Her debut, Nightingale Point, a fictionalised retelling of the Bijlmer air disaster, in which a plane crashed into a council estate, will be published by HarperCollins next summer. She can be found on Twitter @luangoldie.


What am I looking for? I’m looking for a story I can’t possibly imagine but yet when I read it I feel as if the author has somehow stolen it from the most secret part of my mind. I’m looking for a voice that is completely itself and which tells a story which fits perfectly into the short form.

Clare Fisher, London Short Story Prize 2018 Judge


London Short Story Prize 2018 Anthology Launch

  • London Short Story Prize

London Short Story Prize 2018 winner announced

  • London Short Story Prize

London Short Story Prize 2018 longlist announcement

  • Archive

Top tips from previous winners of the London Short Story Prize

  • London Short Story Prize


  • Archive

Alun Evans on the
MA Publishing LCC Podcast

  • Interview

Dylan Brethour on the
MA Publishing LCC Podcast

  • Interview

Listen to Maria Thomas on
MA Pub LCC podcast

  • Interview

An INTERVIEW WITH MARIA THOMAS – London Short Story Prize 2017 winner

  • Interview

London Short Story Prize 2017

  • Archive

An Interview with Foye McCarthy
London Short Story Prize 2016 winner

  • Interview

A History of the London Short Story Prize
2013 – 17

  • London Short Story Prize


2017 Winner
Maria Thomas

2016 Winner
Foye McCarthy

2015 Winner
Joanna Campbell

2014 Winner
Ruby Cowling

2013 Winner
Clare Fisher


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