2013 Costa Short Story Award shortlist revealed

Exciting times for short story fans, as the Costa Book Awards reveals its shortlist for this year’s Short Story Award.

Now in its second year, the Costa Short Story Award is awarded to a previously unpublished single short story of no more than four thousand words.

Working in a similar way to the O. Henry Prize in that the stories are judged anonymously, the Costa Short Story Award is unique in that it’s the readers themselves i.e. the general public, who vote for the story that they think should win the overall prize of £3,500 (and the second and third prizes of £1,000 and £500 respectively).

All six stories, chosen by a panel of judges that include Director of the National Academy of Writing, Richard Beard, novelist, journalist and Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine, Fanny Blake, writer Victoria Hislop, and Simon Trewin, agent at William Morris Endeavor, are now available to be read or listened to on the Costa Book Awards website, or downloaded for offline use, both in ebook (PDF) and audiobook (MP3) formats.

Talking of this year’s entries, Marketing Director of Costa UK, Kevin Hydes, had the following to say:

The quality of entries this year was outstanding and the judges had a tough time whittling the entries down to a shortlist of six. The 2013 winner is now in the public’s hands and we’re encouraging everyone to read – or listen to – all the stories and cast their vote.

Voting closes on 17th January 2014, with the winner and two runners up being announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 28th January 2014. For further details please visit the Costa Short Story Award website.


Rob’s Reaction: I’m delighted again of course to see Costa hosting a short fiction element to their Book Awards again this year, and I’m happy that the anonymous format both for reading and for voting has been retained. I had an absolute blast with the Costa Short Story Awards shortlist last year, and I aim to give the award the same sort of coverage this year. For now, given that the shortlist is completely anonymous (the authors are revealed after voting closes) there’s nothing more I can say, so I will bid thee farewell and get to the task of reading the six stories. I hope you can find the time to join me.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. I’ve read three so far and plan to read the rest – some lovely voices! The judges have their work cut out. Any preferences for you?

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      Greeting Cat,
      I’ve read them all now, and I *do indeed* have a fav our two. But you’ll have to wait until later in the week to which one I think is worthy of taking the top prize. Reviews of all stories daily at 11am (if you’re interested – as if you would be 🙂 ).

  2. Going to make the effort and join you in reading them this year – once I’ve found a technie to make sure I do the download properly.


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