The nation’s favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its seventh year.
Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title. This critically acclaimed series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere. The editor’s brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and web sites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume.
Featuring stories by Jay Barnett, Peter Bradshaw, Rosalind Brown, Krishan Coupland, Claire Dean, Niven Govinden, Françoise Harvey, Andrew Michael Hurley, Daisy Johnson, James Kelman, Giselle Leeb, Courttia Newland, Vesna Main, Eliot North, Irenosen Okojie, Laura Pocock, David Rose, Deirdre Shanahan, Sophie Wellstood and Lara Williams.
About the Author
Nicholas Royle was born in Manchester in 1963. He is the author of seven novels, including: Counterparts, Saxophone Dreams, and First Novel, and a short story collection, Mortality. He has edited sixteen anthologies, including A Book of Two Halves and Neonlit: Time Out Book of New Writing. He lives between London and Manchester and teaches creative writing at MMU.
Jay Barnett grew up in Macclesfield, Cheshire. He is now based in London, where he completed his Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck. For a decade he has worked in the post room of an investment bank. His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and has appeared in Hamish Hamilton’s Five Dials magazine, in Birkbeck’s Mechanics Institute Review and in Jawbreakers, the first National Flash-Fiction Day anthology.
Peter Bradshaw is an author and journalist and has been chief film critic for the Guardian since 1999. He has published three novels, Lucky Baby Jesus (1999), Dr Sweet and His Daughter (2003) and Night of Triumph (2013). He has also written and performed the Radio 4 serial For One Horrible Moment and the Sky TV situation comedy Baddiel’s Syndrome. He is married with a son and lives in London.
Rosalind Brown was born in 1987 and grew up in Cambridge. She is a graduate of the University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA, and now lives and works in Norwich.
Krishan Coupland’s stories and poems have been published in Ambit, Aesthetica, Brittle Star, Fractured West and Litro. His story ‘Days Necrotic’ was joint winner of the Manchester Fiction Prize 2011; he has also won the Bare Fiction Prize and been shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize Wasafiri New Writing Prize, and Storgy short story competition. His work has also been highly commended in the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition, selected for the Best of the Net Anthology, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Claire Dean’s short stories have been published in The Best British Short Stories 2011 and 2014, as well as in Still, Shadows & Tall Trees, Patricide, A cappella Zoo and as chapbooks by Nightjar Press. Her first collection, The Museum of Shadows and Reflections (Unsettling Wonder), with illustrations by Laura Rae, was published in 2016. She lives in Lancashire with her two young sons. Two new stories are forthcoming from Nightjar Press in 2017.
Niven Govinden is the author of four novels, most recently All the Days and Nights, longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. Black Bread, White Beer was selected as one of the Fiction Uncovered titles in 2013. His second novel, Graffiti My Soul, is to be filmed. His short stories have been published internationally and his novels have been translated into numerous languages.
Françoise Harvey has had work published in Loss Lit, Bare Fiction, Synaesthesia Magazine and Litro, as well as in the anthologies The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 and the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 9. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and is one of the founders of short-story collective Literary Salmon.
Andrew Michael Hurley is the author of two short story collections, Cages and The Unusual Death of Julie Christie. His first novel, The Loney, was originally published in 2014 by Tartarus Press and then by John Murray a year later, after which it won the 2015 Costa First Novel award and the 2016 British Book Industry award for Debut Novel and Book of the Year. He lives in Lancashire with his family and teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Writing School. His second novel, Devil’s Day, will be published by John Murray in autumn 2017.
Daisy Johnson was born in 1990 and currently lives in Oxford. Her short fiction has appeared in the Boston Review and the Warwick Review, among others. In 2014, she was the recipient of the AM Heath prize. Fen is her first collection of stories. Her debut novel will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2018.
James Kelman was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 with A Disaffection, which also won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. He went on to win the Booker Prize five years later with How Late it Was, How Late, before being shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and 2011. His latest book is Dirt Road (Canongate). A new collection of short stories is forthcoming.
Giselle Leeb grew up in South Africa and lives in Nottingham, where she works as a web developer when she is not writing. Her short stories have appeared in Ambit, Mslexia, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Litro, Bare Fiction and elsewhere. In 2016, she won third prize for short fiction in both the Elbow Room and Aurora competitions and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She has recently become an assistant editor at Reckoning. She tweets as @gisellekleeb and maintains a website at http://giselleleeb.com.
Vesna Main was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She studied comparative literature before obtaining a doctorate from the Shakespeare Institute in Birmingham. She has worked as a journalist, lecturer and teacher. Her two novels are A Woman With No Clothes On (Delancey Press, 2008) and The Reader the Writer (Mirador, 2015). The latter is written entirely in dialogue and one of the characters is a young prostitute who is also the protagonist of ‘Safe’. Recent short stories have appeared in Persimmon Tree and Winamop.
Courttia Newland is the author of seven works of fiction. His debut was The Scholar and his latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, has been optioned by Cowboy Films. He was nominated for the Impac Dublin Literary Award, the Frank O’Connor Award, the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Theatre 503 Award for playwriting. His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2016 he was awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. He is associate lecturer in creative writing at the University of Westminster.
Eliot North is a doctor and medical educator who lives and works in the north-east of England. She won the EuroStemCell Poetry Competition 2013 and was commended for the Hippocrates Poetry Prize 2014. In 2015 she was commended in the National Poetry Competition. She tweets as @eliot_north and blogs at chekhovwasadoctor.wordpress.com.
Irenosen Okojie is a writer and arts project manager. Her debut novel, Butterfly Fish, won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. Her work has been featured in the Observer, Guardian and Huffington Post, among other publications. Her short stories have been published internationally. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Ben Okri as a dynamic writing talent to watch and was featured in the Evening Standard magazine as one of London’s most exciting new authors. Her short story collection, Speak Gigantular (Jacaranda Books), was shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize and in the Saboteur Awards, and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. wwwirenosenokojie.com @IrenosenOkojie
Laura Pocock was born in South Wales and is an English teacher living in Leicester. She holds a BA in English from the University of Leicester, and will soon graduate with an MA in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University. Laura has written a body of Eco-poetry and enjoys experimenting with the sonnet form. Her short story, ‘Recruitment’, has recently been published in Monster, an anthology of literature by Nottingham writers. She is currently writing a futuristic young adult novel. @_laura_pocock
David Rose was born in 1949 and spent his working life in the Post Office. His debut story was published in the Literary Review (1989), since when he has been widely published in magazines in the UK and Canada. He was joint owner and fiction editor of Main Street Journal. He is the author of two novels, Vault (2011) and Meridian (2015) and one collection, Posthumous Stories (2013). Recent stories have appeared in Gorse.
Deirdre Shanahan has had short stories published in New Writing 5 (Vintage) and Edgeways (Flight Press/Spread the Word) as well as journals in Ireland and the US including the Massachusetts Review and the Southern Review. She has read at Liars League and Word Factory. Her longer fiction has won the Lightship Novel Prize and a bursary from Arts Council England.
Sophie Wellstood grew up in rural Warwickshire. Her fiction was first published in 2013, in Stories for Homes, an anthology for Shelter. She was longlisted for the Bath Award in 2016 and shortlisted for the Manchester Fiction Prize 2016. Her debut novel won Triskele Books’ Big 5 competition and was shortlisted for the 2017 Caledonian Novel Award. She has another story forthcoming in Stories for Homes Vol 2, due November 2017. She lives in west London and is working on her second novel and a short story collection.
Lara Williams is a writer based in Manchester. Her debut collection, Treats, was published by Freight Books in 2016; it has been shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She writes for the Guardian, Independent, TLS and Vice among other publications. She is currently working on a novel and a full-length piece of creative non-fiction.