Friday, 17 January 2020

The 2020 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize

Our aim is to celebrate short stories and to give emerging writers encouragement and a little financial assistance to write.

We're looking for new, exciting and diverse voices.

£1000 First Prize

£250 Second Prize

£100 Third Prize

The winners and longlisted entrants' stories will be published in the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize anthology in October 2020.
The prize is open to all UK residents over the age of 18 for original short stories between 1000 and 5000 words.

The 2020 judges are Sharmaine Lovegrove, Harriet Moore and Chris Power.

Sharmaine Lovegrove spearheads Dialogue Books, an imprint of Little, Brown.

Dialogue Books is home to stories from illuminating voices often excluded from the mainstream. Its aim is to shine a spotlight on stories for, about and by readers from the LGBTQI+, disability, working class and BAME communities. The imprint has a clear focus of distinctive, cross-genre titles that spark a conversation across fiction, non-fiction, commercial and literary publishing.

Dialogue Books' authors include Irenosen Okojie, Season Butler and Amer Anwar.

Harriet Moore is a literary agent at David Higham Associates. She represents literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, illustrated non-fiction and poetry. She is looking for writing which has atmosphere, ambition, style and flair with a particular interest in books which are emotionally rigorous. She is drawn to voices which are precise and artful; writing which is both intimate and political; and women thinking hard about other women.

Writers she admires include: Lydia Davies, Joy Williams, Anne Enright, Rachel Cusk, Denise Riley, John Berger, MFK Fisher, Fleur Jaeggy, Jean Rhys, Natalia Ginzburg, Katherine Heiny, Elizabeth Strout, Claudia Rankine, Anne Carson, Jane Bowles, Mary Gaitskill, Laurie Colwin.

Chris Power’s short story collection Mothers was published by Faber in 2018. It was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. His next book, a novel, will be published in 2021. His column, ‘A Brief Survey of the Short Story’, has appeared in the Guardian since 2007. He lives in Hackney.

2020 Timeline

Submissions open: January 2020

Deadline for entries: 15/05/20, 5PM

Long long list of 50 stories announced: 06/07/20

Longlist (12 stories to be published in the anthology) announced: 27/07/20

Short list announced: 14/09/20

Book Launch and Prize announcements: October 2020, date TBC.

How to Enter

Deadline for receiving entries: 5PM, Friday May 15th 2020.

Entry costs £10 per story. The proceeds pay for the administration of the prize and towards the cost of publishing the longlist anthology. Everyone involved with the running of the prize is paid, including our first readers.

Use this Paypal button to pay your £10 entry fee.

Send all entries to

Paste your Paypal reference number in the body of your email along with your name and contact details.

Attach your entry as a PDF file, using the File Specifications outlined below.

You will receive an automated reply.

If you are entering more than one story, please send each in a separate email, using the same format as above.

Use '2020 Prize Submission' as your email subject heading.

This year, we have 25 free entries for low income writers. These are available on a first come, first served basis and after emailing Kate at If you consider yourself eligible, we'll trust that, and no questions will be asked.

File Specifications

Save your entry as a PDF file.

Use the title of your story, followed by your word count as the file name. Eg:WorldOnFire4521

Your name must not be anywhere on the document. If it is, the entry will be automatically disqualified. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Use 12pt, black, double spaced in Arial.

Number your pages.

Terms and Conditions

Stories must be between 1000 and 5000 words (not including the title).

Stories must be written in English.

All submissions are blinded to judges.

Long-listed and short-listed writers will be notified by email.

Longlisted stories will be copy edited in preparation for publication. No large edits will be made, but suggestions by our copy editor will be made to individual writers via email.

No editorial feedback can be provided on non-longlisted stories.

The judges' decision is final.

Entrants must be over eighteen.

Entrants must be residents of the UK. Proof of address will be required at the longlist stage.
Entries not paid for or received after the deadline of 15/05/20, 5PM will not be accepted.
Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Entries must be an original work of fiction by the entrant. Non-fiction or poetry will not be accepted.

Your story must be unpublished and not scheduled for publication (in print or online). Please let us know if this changes.

The entrant may have had other work published.

The copyright remains the author's but Brick Lane Bookshop have the right to publish your story if it is longlisted.

The story cannot have won another prize but may have been short/longlisted.

Multiple entries from the same author are accepted, but each entry is £10.

We are sorry that unsuccessful entrants cannot be contacted.

Entries will not be accepted from members of the Brick Lane Bookshop team nor their relatives.

Please email any queries to:

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