ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award

Lemn Sissay presenting the 2022 SoA Awards at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
Lemn Sissay presenting the 2022 SoA Awards at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
For a short story of up to 5,000 words

An annual award for a short story, financed by a bequest made by Miss Nellie Tom-Gallon in memory of her brother and generously supported by ALCS and Hawthornden Literary Retreat. The winner will receive £2,000, the runner-up £1,000, and £500 is awarded to each of the shortlist (up to four authors).  

The 2023 Award is now closed for submissions. The shortlist will be announced in Spring 2023.



  • Deadline for entries: 31 October 2022
  • Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth, or the Republic of Ireland
  • Applicants must have had at least one short story accepted for publication
  • Submissions must be in English and must not be a translation
  • Submissions may be published or unpublished
  • Submissions must not have been previously submitted for the ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award
  • Submissions must be a maximum of 5,000 words

For any queries relating to the prize please contact [email protected]


Winner of the 2022 ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award

Winner: Kanya D’Almeida for “I Cleaned The __”

Runner Up: Dean Gessie  for “Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump”

The 2022 Shortlist

  • Sheila Armstrong for ‘Red Market’ 
  • David Frankel for ‘The Memory System’
  • Ben Tufnell for ‘Last Days’ 
  • Roland Watson-Grant for ‘The Disappearance of Mumma Dell’

With thanks, the judges of the 2022 ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award:

Clare Fuller

© Adrian Harvey

Claire Fuller is the author of four novels. Her most recent, Unsettled Ground, won the Costa Novel Award 2021, and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her first, Our Endless Numbered Days won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize, her second, Swimming Lessons was shortlisted for the Encore prize, and her third, Bitter Orange was on the International Dublin Literary Award longlist. Her books have been translated into 18 languages. Claire also writes flash fiction and short stories. Many have been published, and she has won the BBC Opening Lines short story competition, and the Royal Academy / Pin Drop prize. 

Sophie Haydock

© James Robertson

Sophie Haydock is an award-winning author living in east London. The Flames is her debut novel – for which she won the Impress Prize for New Writers. Sophie trained as a journalist at City University, London, and has worked at the Sunday Times Magazine, Tatler and BBC Three, as well as freelancing for publications including the Financial Times, Guardian Weekend magazine, and organisations such as the Arts Council, Royal Academy and Sotheby’s. Passionate about short stories, Sophie also works for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award and is associate director of the Word Factory literary organisation. Her Instagram account @egonschieleswomen – dedicated to the women who posed for Egon Schiele – has a community of over 100,000 followers. For more information, visit: sophie-haydock.com 

Billy Kahora

© Waterlines Project

Billy Kahora  studied Creative Writing as a Chevening Scholar at the University of Edinburgh in 2007. Before that, he spent eight years studying and working in South Africa, and was Editorial Assistant for All Africa.com in Washington D.C. He also has degrees in journalism and media studies. He has written a nonfiction novella, The True Story Of David Munyakei, and his work has appeared in Chimurenga, McSweeney’s, Granta online, Internazionale, and Vanity Fair. His stories “Urban Zoning” and “The Gorilla’s Apprentice” were shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2012 and 2014, respectively. 

Mary Watson

© Rolex/Bart Michiels

Mary Watson grew up in Cape Town where she worked as an art museum custodian, library assistant, actress in children’s musicals, front-of-house duty manager, and university lecturer. Her PhD was in film studies and has always been obsessed with stories. They attempted their first book (with illustrations) when they were five. At sixteen, she had a vivid dream about a girl and her father who walked a magic garden, hiding an awful secret. This grew into a collection of connected short stories, Moss (Kwela, 2004) which she wrote under the mentorship of André Brink at the University of Cape Town. I was awarded the Caine Prize in 2006. Her second book, The Cutting Room (Penguin South Africa, 2013), is about ghosts, sort of, and crime. 

https://www.marywatsonbooks.com/

2022

  • Winner: Kanya D’Almeida for “I Cleaned The __”
  • Runner-up: Dean Gessie  for “Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump”
  • Shortlist
    • Sheila Armstrong for ‘Red Market’ 
    • David Frankel for ‘The Memory System’
    • Ben Tufnell for ‘Last Days’ 
    • Roland Watson-Grant for ‘The Disappearance of Mumma Dell’

2021

  • Winner: DM O’Connor for I Told You not to Fly so High
  • Runner-up: Sean Lusk for The Hopelessness of Hope
  • Shortlist
    • Maeve O’Lynn for Eventually Meeeting the Sky Somewhere
    • Anne Aylor for The House of Wild Beasts
    • Alison Littlewood for Swanskin
    • Dafydd Mills Daniel for What the Deal is

2020

  • Winner: Wendy Riley for Eva at the End of the World
  • Runner-up: Diana Powell for Whale Watching 
  • Shortlist
    • Ani Kayode Somotchukwu for The Bird that Fluttered Free
    • Lynda Clark for Ghillie’s Mum
    • Carol Farrelly for High Water
    • Catriona Ward for The Pier at Ardentinny

2019

  • Winner: Dima Alzayat for Once We Were Syrians
  • Runner-up: Bunmi Ogunsiji for Blessing
  • Shortlist
    • Niall Bourke for Gerardo Dreams of Chillies
    • Claire Fuller for Tiny and Pointed
    • Bruce Meyer for The Kids

2018

  • Winner: Chris Connolly for The Speed of Light and How It Cannot Help Us
  • Runner-up: Benjamin Myers for A Thousand Acres of English Soil
  • Shortlist
    • Kirsty Logan for My Body Cannot Forget Your Body
    • Valerie O’Riordan for Livestock
    • Gabi Reigh for It Was a Very Good Year
    • Jacky Taylor for A Brief Period of Rejoicing.

2017

  • Winner: Frances Thimann for Shells
  • Runner-up: Becky Tipper for The Rabbit

2016

  • Winner: Claire Harman for Otherwise Engaged 
  • Runner-up: Jessie Greengrass for Dolphin

2015

  • Winner: Maria C. McCarthy for More Katharine Than Audrey
  • Runner-up: Caroline Price for Vin Rouge

2014

  • Winner: Benjamin Myers for The Folk Song Singer
  • Runner-up: Claire Harman for Poor Magigie Kirkpatrick

2013

  • Winner: Samuel Wright for Best Friend
  • Runner-up: Lucy Wood for Wisht

2011

  • Winner: Emma Timpany for The Pledge
  • Runner-up: Miriam Burke for A Splash of Words

2010

  • Winner: Carys Davies for The Quiet
  • Joint runners-up: Susannah Rickards for The Paperback Macbeth and Simon van Booy for Little Birds

2009

  • Winner: Rosemary Mairs for My Father’s Hands
  • Specially commended: Huw Lawrencefor Keeping On

2008

  • Winner: Alison MacLeod for Dirty Weekend

2007

  • Winner: Claire Keegan for The Parting Gift

2006

  • Winner: Bethan Roberts for An Elephant in the Thames

2005

  • Winner: Colette Paul for O Tell me the Truth About Love

2004

  • Winner: Claire Keegan for Men and Women

2003 

  • Winner: Judith Ravenscroft for As She Waited for Spring

2001

  • Winner: Paul Blaney for Apple Tennis

1999 

  • Winner: Grace Ingoldby for The Notion of Deuce

1996

  • Winner: Leo Madigan for Packing for Wednesday

1994

  • Winner: Janice Fox for A Good Place to Die

1992

  • Winner: David Callard for Reading the Signals

1990

  • Winner: Richard Austin for Sister Monica’s Last Journey

1988

  • Winner: Alan Beard for Taking Doreen Out of the Sky

1986

  • Winner: Lawrence Scott for The House of Funerals

1984

  • Winner: Janni Howker for The Egg Man

1982

  • Winner: Dermot Healy for The Tenant

1980

  • Winner: Alan McConnell for The Comrades Marathon

1978

  • Winner: Michael Morrissey for An Evening With Ionesco

1976

  • Winner: Jackson Webb for Vassili

1974

  • Winner: Neilson Graham for Anscombe

1972

  • Winner: Kathleen Julian for Catch Two

1970

  • Winners: A. Craig Bell for The Nest and Aileen Pennington for The Princess and the Pussy-cat

1966

  • Winner: Gillian Edwards for An Evening in September

1964

  • Winners: Peter Greave for The Wonderful Day and Jean Stubbs for A Child’s Four Seasons

1959

  • Winner: Harold Elvin for God’s Right Hand Upon My Shoulder

1957

  • Winner: E.W. Hildick for A Casual Visit

1955

  • Winner: Robert Roberts for Conducted Tour

1953

  • Winner: Maurice Cranston for A Visit to the Author

1951

  • Winner: Fred Urquhart for The Ploughing Match

1949

  • Winner: Olivia Manning for The Children

1947

  • Winner: Dorothy K. Haynes for The Head

1945

  • Winner: Jack Aistrop for Death In the Midst of What

1943

  • Winner: Elizabeth Myers for A Well Full of Leaves