The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2015
Richard Eyre, Aminatta Forna, Alex Clark, Elif Shafak and Andrew Holgate to judge the sixth year of The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award
A prestigious panel of judges has been announced for the world's most valuable prize for a single short story. The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award is worth £30,000 to the winning author. This year's judging panel will comprise director and producer Sir Richard Eyre, critic and commentator Alex Clark, novelist and short story-writer Aminatta Forna, and, for the second time, internationally acclaimed Turkish novelist, columnist and speaker Elif Shafak. Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor of The Sunday Times completes the line-up, alongside the non-voting chair of judges Matthew Evans.
Sir Richard Eyre said:
I'm thrilled to be a judge of The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. I'm fascinated by the form of the short story - the compression, the detail and the poetic resonance. Whole lives and whole worlds can be revealed in a limited number of words. The best short stories are the best of literature in any form.
Stay updated with the Award on the Booktrust website or the Sunday Times website. You can also follow the award and all the latest news and updates by following @ShortStoryAward on Twitter and by using the #STEFG hashtag.
Alex Clark is a critic, journalist and broadcaster who lives in north London. She writes on a wide range of subjects for the Guardian, the Observer, the London Evening Standard and the Times Literary Supplement. She has judged many literary awards, including the 2008 Man Booker prize; currently, she is the chair of the Encore Award for best second novel and is on the panel for the 2015 Wales Book of the Year. She is also member of the Folio Prize Academy.
Alex regularly chairs live events, appears on radio programmes such as Front Row, Woman's Hour and Open Book and is the host of a monthly podcast for Vintage publishing. In 2014, she was a guest programmer at the Cambridge Literary Festival; and she curated the Shelf Help series of books for Vintage, focusing on a title each month, and featuring writers such as Julian Barnes, Stephen Grosz, Deborah Moggach and Edmund de Waal. In her spare time, she is a committed Arsenal supporter.
Sir Richard Eyre
Richard worked in theatres in Leicester, Edinburgh and Nottingham before becoming Director of the National Theatre. From 1988 - 1997 he directed numerous productions there including Hamlet, Richard III, King Lear, Guys and Dolls, Night of the Iguana, John Gabriel Borkman, and new plays by David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Christopher Hampton and Nicholas Wright. He has subsequently directed The Crucible on Broadway, Mary Poppins and Private Lives in the West End and on Broadway, Quartermaine's Terms in the West End and The Pajama Game in Chichester and the West End. He has directed his own adaptations of Hedda Gabler and Ghosts for the Almeida and the West End. On television his credits include Changing Stages: a history of 20th century theatre, Tumbledown and Henry IV parts 1 and 2.
His film credits include The Ploughman's Lunch, Iris, Stage Beauty and Notes on a Scandal. He has directed La Traviata for the Royal Opera House and Carmen, Werther and Le Nozze di Figaro for the Metropolitan Opera. He is the author of Utopia and Other Places, a memoir; National Service, a journal of his time at the National Theatre, Talking Theatre, conversations with theatre people and What Do I Know, a collection of journalism. He has received numerous awards for theatre and film. He was knighted in 1997 and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2011.
Matthew Evans is the Awards non-voting Chair of Judges. Lord Evans CBE is the former Chairman of EFG Private Bank. Prior to joining EFG, Lord Evans was a junior government minister in the House of Lords, Chairman of Faber & Faber and Vice Chairman of the British Film Institute. He is also President of the British Antique Dealers’ Association.
Photo courtesy: Jonathan Ring
Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Britain and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the award-winning author of the novels The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and a memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water.
Aminatta is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and in 2013 held the post of Sterling Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor at Williams College, Massachusetts. In March 2014 Aminatta Forna was named as a winner of a Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize awarded annually by Yale University.
Andrew Holgate has been the Literary Editor of The Sunday Times since 2008. Amongst many other prizes and awards, he has previously been a judge for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Orwell Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Betty Trask Award.
Elif Shafak is Turkey's most-read woman writer and an award-winning novelist. She writes in both English and Turkish, and has published 12 books, nine of which are novels, including: The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, Honour and her genre-crossing memoir Black Milk. Her latest novel, The Architect's Apprentice will be published in November 2014. Her books have been translated into 39 languages.
Shafak is also a political commentator. She is a regular contributor to major newspapers in Turkey, as well as several international daily & weekly publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times, Time and The Newsweek. She is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on The Role of Arts in Society and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). She was awarded the honorary distinction of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2010. Shafak is an active social media figure with over one million Twitter followers. Her website is www.elifshafak.com
Elif is married with two children and divides her time between London and Istanbul.
About the The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2015
Launched in 2009 by Lord Matthew Evans, former chairman of EFG Private Bank and Cathy Galvin from The Sunday Times, The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award is the richest prize for a single short story in the English language open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who is published in the UK. Worth £30,000 to the winner, and £1,000 to each of the shortlisted authors, the annual award aims to promote and celebrate the excellence of the modern short story, and has attracted entries from some of the world's finest writers.
Winners of the international competition, which is open to stories of up to 6,000 words written in English, have come from all over the world, and have included the Pulitzer prize-winning American writer Junot Diaz, CK Stead from New Zealand and Kevin Barry from Ireland. Last year's recipient of the award was the Pulitzer winner Adam Johnson for his haunting story 'Nirvana'.
The prize has an immensely rich heritage, with some of the finest writers from America, Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth appearing on its longlists and shortlists - among them Emma Donoghue, Adam Foulds, Mark Haddon, Sarah Hall, Yiyun Li, Hilary Mantel, Ali Smith, Elizabeth Strout, Graham Swift and Gerard Woodward. It also has a fine record of uncovering new talent, with 27-year-old UEA graduate Anna Metcalfe making the shortlist in 2014.
The anthologies of previous shortlisted stories, Six Shorts are published as ebooks and are available to download. The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award stages two reading events each year when outstanding actors read shortlisted stories hosted by Foyles in their flagship store on Charing Cross Road, London and partnered with WordTheatre, the story performance specialists. Recordings of these readings are available to download and listen from Audible.com.
2014 Adam Johnson with 'Nirvana'
2013 Junot Diaz with 'Miss Lora'
2012 Kevin Barry with 'Beer Trip to Llandudno'
2011 Anthony Doerr with 'The Deep'
2010 CK Stead with 'Last Season's Man'