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The 2016 Shortlist

Six authors from five countries make up the shortlist for this year’s award. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner at Stationers’ Hall in London on Friday, April 22.

Click on the pictures to read the individual stories and find out about each writer.


Alix Christie is an author, journalist and letterpress printer. She apprenticed to two master printers and owns and operates a 1910 Chandler & Price letterpress. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from St Mary’s College of California and lives in London with her husband and two children.  Her first novel, Gutenberg’s Apprentice, was published in 2014.

COLUM McCANN / What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?

Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination.  His novel Transatlantic was longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.  McCann lives in New York.


American writer Edith Pearlman has published more than 250 works of short fiction and short non-fiction in national magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and on-line publications.  Her first collection of stories, Vaquita, won the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature; her second, Love Among The Greats won the Spokane Annual Fiction Prize. Her third collection, How to Fall, won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction.  Pearlman lives in Massachusetts.

JONATHAN TEL / The Human Phonograph

Jonathan Tel’s published books include a story collection about Israelis and Palestinians, Arafat’s Elephant, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award; a novel, Freud’s Alphabet, and The Beijing of Possibilities, a story sequence that unfolds in contemporary China, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Award.  Tel was a finalist for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize in 2014, and the winner of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

NICHOLAS RUDDOCK / The Phosphorescence

Nicholas Ruddock was born in Ottawa.  His debut novel, The Parabolist, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and the Arthur Ellis Award in Canada.  How Loveta Got Her Baby, a book of short stories, was published in 2014.  Ruddock lives in Ontario.

PETINA GAPPAH / The News of Her Death

Petina Gappah is a lawyer and Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her debut story collection, An Elegy for Easterly, won the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.  Her debut novel The Book of Memory was published by Faber last year.