2020 Flash and Short Story Prize Winners

We’re excited to reveal the latest winners in our annual Flash Fiction and Short Story Prize. Many thanks to our judges, Susmita Bhattacharya for the flash fiction prize, and Peter Jordan for the short story prize.

Congratulations again to everyone who made our shortlists and longlists and well done to everyone who submitted as 2020 was not the easiest year for creativity for many people.

The 10 stories that made the shortlist in each category will all be published in the annual anthology, which will launch in September 2021.

Flash Fiction Prize ShortlistShort Story Prize Shortlist
2084 by Peter Barnes

Apple Fall by Jason Jackson

Amuse-Bouche by Sherri Turner

Baggage by Charlie Swailes

Fledgling by Rae Cowie

Homemaker by Dan Micklethwaite

How to Make Damson Jam by Morgan Quinn

The Circular Trajectory of Drones by Jan Kaneen

The Weight of Feathers by Rebecca Kelly

Visiting Hours by E. E. Rhodes
A Straightforward Life by Corrina O’Bierne

Booboo by John Holland

Centuries, in Burnt Sienna by Natasya Parker

Daniel Sprinkles Stars by Holly Barratt

Flamingos by Ali McGrane

It’s Not Normal to Befriend a Trapped Butterfly by Emily Harrison

Phylum by Rhus Timson

Spinach, Celery, Carrot, Beetroot, Ginger, Apple by Henry Heffer

The Stonecutter’s Masterpiece by Jennifer Falkner

Words by Jane Fraser

Flash Fiction Prize Winners

First Prize: Apple-Fall by Jason Jackson

Susmita said: I loved the sweeping saga of Catherine’s life – from her childhood with her grandmother, picking apples, pushing boundaries, discovering herself, loving and losing loved ones to becoming childlike again in her last years – all these observations and experiences so heartrendingly portrayed in so few words.

Second Prize: The Weight of Feathers by Rebecca Kelly

Susmita said: This had such strong imagery. The metaphor of the owl’s wings imprinting its presence on the narrator and the guilt and grief carried on those young shoulders made me stop and consider the weight that the story carried on its slim shoulders.

Third Prize: Visiting Hours by E. E. Rhodes

Susmita said: Visiting Hours had a mythical feel to it. I loved the lyrical quality of the story, the back and forth of questions with so many layers to it. In the midst of the poetic language is a stark truth that defines the relationship between the two characters in the story.

Highly Commended: How to Make Damson Jam by Natalie Quinn

Susmita said: I loved the recipe format. On the surface it tells the steps to make a good damson jam. On another level, there is something else going on. Relationships are tested. Life’s lessons are learned. A quiet story bursting with the richness of sensory detail and layered meaning.

Short Story Prize Winners

First Prize: The Stonecutter’s Masterpiece by Jennifer Falkner

Peter said: I read each story in a single day; one after the other, then slept on it. But I have to say I had a firm idea which story was the best from the first read. The next day, I read the ten stories again and the winning story survived and passed the second read, and it also survived days of reflection. The Stonemason’s Masterpiece was an easy choice. The idea of having a woman made of stone seek a stone-cutter for release was superb. But it wasn’t the idea that won it. Ideas don’t win writing comps. It won because the writing on an individual sentence level was superb.

Second Prize: Daniel Sprinkles Stars by Holly Barratt

Peter said: All good stories have a surface story, with something understated — often bigger than the surface story — running underneath. The is the case with Daniel Sprinkles Stars. And the writing is controlled, and consistently in the voice of the central character, Daniel.

Third Prize: Booboo by John Holland

Peter said: I chose ‘Booboo’ because the story is possibly the simplest with regards to both prose and story. In many ways ‘Booboo’ is the perfect template for a short story. Start late, leave early. Keep it simple. Have the surface story allude to bigger things — in this case, the mother’s new partner and how that affects her young daughter.

The 2021 Prizes will launch with new judges in April. In the meantime, check out our new online community where there’s lots of great events, articles, writing prompts and writerly chat to get you putting more words on the page!