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Female and American writers are at the core of the 15-strong longlist for the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which includes ten women, nine American writers and four British authors. At £30,000 for the winner, this is the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for an English-language single short story and regularly attracts some of the finest literary talent from around the world. Past winners and shortlisted authors have included Junot Diaz, Hilary Mantel, CK Stead, Emma Donoghue, David Vann, Colum McCann, Anthony Doerr, Edith Pearlman, Petina Gappah, Elizabeth Strout and Ali Smith.

In this, its ninth year, the longlist again reflects its reputation as an award that prides itself on showcasing outstanding new voices as well as more established literary authors; past discoveries have included Sally Rooney, whose debut novel ‘Conversations with Friends’ was published in 2017 by Faber to immense critical acclaim, and Lisa McInerney, whose first novel ‘Glorious Heresies’ won the 2016 Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction.

This year we welcome new British writers Lisa Blower, Nicolas Burbidge and Naomi Booth, while more established names are represented by authors such as American Allegra Goodman, who is the author of five novels and two collections of short stories, US writer and filmmaker Miranda July, whose collection of stories, ‘No One Belongs Here More Than You’, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty-three countries; bestselling American author of ‘Sisterland’ Curtis Sittenfeld, whose longlisted story is contained in her new collection out in Spring 2018, and Joseph O’Neill, winner of the 2009 Pen Faulkner Prize for Fiction and author of ‘Netherland’ which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has a new collection of short stories, ‘Good Trouble’, due to be published in June 2018.

Previous winners of the prize who have also made the longlist again this year include British writer Jonathan Tel, and US author Yiyun Li. US writer Victor Lodato, shortlisted last year, also returns to the longlist for a consecutive year. Doubleday publish Lodato’s novel this February.

The themes and locations of the stories selected are ambitious, mature and engaged, touching on contemporary topics such as Trumpism, populism, and the refugee crisis as well as marriage, sexuality and revenge. The stories move from present day Berlin to 1980’s Dublin and the AIDS epidemic in New York City.

This year there were a record 810 eligible entries, the highest number yet, perhaps reflecting the surging popularity of the short story form this year; sales were up 40% in 2017.

View the full longlist here