The shortlist of six will be announced on 18 March, and the winner will be presented with their award at a ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in London on Thursday 26 April. The winner will receive £30,000, while the five shortlisted writers will each receive £1,000.
New British writers Lisa Blower, Nicolas Burbidge and Naomi Booth appear on the longlist, along with more established authors such as Allegra Goodman, US writer and filmmaker Miranda July and Curtis Sittenfeld, whose longlisted story is contained in her new collection out in Spring 2018.
Previous winners of the prize who have also made the longlist this year include British writer Jonathan Tel, US author Yiyun Li, and Victor Lodato, who was shortlisted for the 2017 award and returns to the longlist for a consecutive year.
The themes of the stories selected are ambitious, mature and engaged, and touch 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.
The 15 longlisted writers and the titles of their short stories are:
- Abdul by Lisa Blower
- Cluster by Naomi Booth
- Cooking a Wolf by Nicholas Burbidge
- Black Diamond by Judy Chicurel
- F.A.Q.s by Allegra Goodman
- The Liberator by Tania James
- The Metal Bowl by Miranda July
- Buck Mad by P Kearney Byrne
- On The Street Where You Live by Yiyun Li
- Herman Melville Vol 1 by Victor Lodato
- Life on Earth by Molly McCloskey
- The Sinking of the Houston by Joseph O’Neill
- Do-over by Curtis Sittenfeld
- Berlin Lends a Hand by Jonathan Tel
- Peanuts Aren’t Nuts by Courtney Zoffness
This year’s judging panel comprises journalist and author Sebastian Faulks; author and short story writer Petina Gappah; short story writer and novelist Tessa Hadley and broadcaster and author Mark Lawson. Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor of The Sunday Times, completes the line-up.