‘A Prolonged Kiss’ shortlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2021

In very exciting news my short story ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ reached the shortlist for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2021. This is the world’s biggest and most prestigious prize for an English-language single short story, with the winner scooping a slightly surreal £30,000 prize.

The shortlist features some amazing writers published in some fantastic outlets.

Rabih Alameddine – ‘The July War’ (Paris Review)
Susan Choi – ‘Flashlight’ (The New Yorker)
Laura Demers – ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (Granta)
Elizabeth McCracken – ‘The Irish Wedding’ (The Atlantic)
Rachael Fulton – ‘Call’
and ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ by me.

On Thursday 1st July the London Library hosted an online event with the six shortlisted writers and judges David Mitchell and Andrew Holgate which you can watch here.

So I feel this is a success I share with The Lonely Crowd, the indie journal where my story was published, thanks to its editor John Lavin. The story was published in Issue 12 of the journal, which you can buy here.

Here is the 15-strong longlist in full:

Rabih Alameddine – ‘The July War’ (Paris Review, subscribers only)
Jamel Brinkley – ‘Comfort’ (Ploughshares, subscribers)
Susan Choi – ‘Flashlight’ (The New Yorker, subscribers)
Susannah Dickey – ‘Stuffed Peppers’
Laura Demers – ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (Granta online, free to read)
Louise Erdrich – ‘Oil of Emu’
Rachael Fulton – ‘Call’
Jonathan Gibbs – ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ (The Lonely Crowd, purchase here)
Allegra Goodman – ‘A Challenge You Have Overcome’ (The New Yorker, subscribers)
Rachel Heng – ‘Kirpal’
Daniel Mason – ‘A Case Study’
Elizabeth McCracken – ‘The Irish Wedding’ (The Atlantic, free to read)
Gráinne Murphy – ‘Further West’
Adam Nicolson – ‘The Fearful Summer’ (Granta 152, subscribers)
Mark Jude Poirier – ‘This Is Not How Good People Die’ (Subtropics)

This is obviously a huge boost, and my thanks go out to the judges, Yiyun Li, David Mitchell, Curtis Sittenfeld, Romesh Gunesekera and Andrew Holgate.

The winner was announced on July 8, 2021, and it was ‘Flashlight’ by Susan Choi, which I absolutely can’t argue with as a choice. It’s a phenomenally strong story, wonderfully shaped, with great scene-writing and dialogue, and some feather-light touches of brilliance in the plotting. I read it, frankly, in awe and envy, and I love it!

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