This year’s Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Award shortlist includes six Americans, five of them women, making it the first time the international prize has had an all-American shortlist and only the second time that women have featured so heavily on the list.
Now in its ninth year, the Prize retains its reputation for thought-provoking themes. The stories in this year’s shortlist tackle the subjects of pornography, the abuse of power and Trumpism. In Miranda July’s story, The Metal Bowl, a woman’s inner life is animated by the memory of an amateur poronographic shoot she did in her youth, while Courtney Zoffness’s story explores the relationship between a high school student and her over-attentive tutor who is arrested for sexual predation. In Victor Lodato’s Herman Melville, Volume 1, a young homeless woman must fend for herself in a small Oregon town, while Allegra Goodman’s story F.A.Q.s explores the ambivalence and longing that college-aged children feel towards their parents. Curtis Sittenfeld’s story, Do-Over, describes the moment two old classmates meet shortly after the presidential election of Donald Trump, while Molly McCloskey’s story Life on Earth, set in Washington DC, tells the story of a brief affair between two people at opposite ends of the jostling political spectrum.
The Award accepts entries of 6,000 words or under, published in English, from fiction authors from anywhere in the world who have been published in the UK or Ireland.
The Award reflects The Sunday Times’ support for outstanding writing and the rich literary heritage of the newspaper, and the ongoing commitment of EFG, a leading international private bank, to the literary world.
The prize is managed by the Society of Authors and the 6 shortlisted writers and their entries are:
- F.A.Q’s by Allegra Goodman
- Herman Melville, Volume 1 by Victor Lodato
- The Metal Bowl by Miranda July
- Do-Over by Curtis Sittenfeld
- Life on Earth by Molly McCloskey
- Peanuts Aren’t Nuts by Courtney Zoffness
The winner will receive £30,000 and their five fellow shortlistees will each receive £1,000. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner hosted by EFG at Stationers’ Hall in London on Thursday 26 April. Read the shortlisted stories.
This year’s judges are Sebastian Faulks, Petina Gappah, Mark Lawson, Tessa Hadley and Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor of The Sunday Times.