Read about our 2015 winners

1st Prize

Safia Moore


Carrie Kania’s comments:

There are so many things to admire about ‘That Summer’. It’s a snapshot of boyhood curiosity. The narrator’s voice perfectly captures the sense of a small town complete with its own secrets, prying neighbours, worries and tensions. With language true to the characters, yet mature enough for the readers, the author strikes a fine balance. “That summer, no-one wore seat belts” – one single line in the story shows how, in a few words, a whole season can be described. This story stayed with me.

About Safia

Safia Moore is a former English teacher from Northern Ireland who now works as a freelance writer, editor and creative writing tutor to small groups. She has published flash fiction, short stories, reviews and critical articles, with Ether Books, The Incubator, Haverthorn Magazine and The Honest Ulsterman. Safia won the 2014 Abu Dhabi National Short Story Competition with a piece called ‘Turning Point,’ but feels her finest fiction-writing achievement to date is this Bath Short Story Award short listing. She blogs at and tweets @SafiaMoore

2nd Prize 

Dan Powell


Carrie Kania’s comments:

Loss hits hard in this story set against a crashing sea. And in many ways, water becomes as much a character in ‘Dancing to the Shipping Forecast’ as the narrator. What I admired most about this story was the building tension and the aching, specific time stamp of a relationship – reminding us all that every second counts.

About Dan Powell

Dan Powell is a prize winning author of short fiction whose stories have appeared in the pages of Carve, New Short Stories, Unthology and The Best British Short Stories. His debut collection of short fiction Looking Out Broken Windows was shortlisted for the 2013 Scott Prize, long listed for the Edge Hill Prize and is published by Salt. He teaches part-time and is a First Story writer-in-residence. He procrastinates at and on Twitter as @danpowfiction

3rd Prize 

Angela Readman

Style: "Portrait B&W - high key"

Style: “Portrait B&W – high key”

Carrie Kania’s comments:

A translator’s way with words helps women find ‘love’ in ‘The Woman of Letters’. Editing hopes, she nevertheless – perhaps unrealistically – sets her ultimate matchmaking eye towards her son. Peppering the story with gorgeous metaphors (“lips are strawberries in the snow”), this was a story that transported me and left me with a dual sense of two kinds of dreams – the ones that can come true and the ones that will not.

About Angela Readman

Angela Readman’s stories have been published in Unthology, The Asham Award anthology and The Bristol Short Story Prize anthology. She is a winner of the National Flash Fiction Competition and The Costa Short Story Award in. Her debut collection, Don’t Try This at Home was published by And Other Stories in 2015. It recently won a Saboteur Award and The Rubery Book Award.

The Acorn Award for Unpublished Writers of Fiction

Lucy Corkhill 


BSSA judging team comments:

Last Rites’ impressed us for the strong and original voice of the protagonist and an unusual slant to a traditional theme.

About Lucy Corkhill

Lucy Corkhill worked for ten years as a journalist while writing coffee-fuelled fiction late at night. She’s currently a full-time mum to her adopted son, working on her first novel whenever time allows and running an illustration business. Inhabiting wild spaces makes her feel alive and inspires her creativity; she has lived on a 90 year old wooden boat, in a house in the woods, and in an off-grid cottage perched on the cliffs. She blogs about writing at and tweets about books @lucycorkhill

Local Prize and Commended by Carrie Kania

KM Elkes


Carrie Kania’s comments:

A wonderful snapshot of a night out with the boys – the three kings of their town. Pitch-perfect dialogue and a cast of characters you’d likely see up on the big screen.

About KM  Elkes

KM Elkes is an author, journalist and travel writer from Bristol UK. Since starting to write fiction seriously in 2011, he has won the 2013 Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize, been shortlisted twice for the Bridport Prize and was one of the winners of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, 2014.  He also won the Prolitzer Prize for Prose in 2014 and wrote a winning entry for the Labello Press International Short Story Prize, 2015. His work has also appeared in various anthologies and won prizes at Words With Jam, Momaya Review, Lightship Publishing and Accenti in Canada. Website  Twitter @mysmalltales

Commended by Carrie Kania:

Eileen Merriman


Carrie Kania’s comments:

A young doctor’s exhausting rounds leads him to a brief encounter with a dying woman. The rush atmosphere of the ER is deftly balanced with the last breaths of life.

About Eileen Merriman

Eileen Merriman writes short stories, novels and flash fiction. She was second runner-up in the 2014 Sunday Star Times National Short Story Competition and has recently received the 2015 Winter Flash Frontiers writing award. Her work has previously been published in the Sunday Star Times, Takahe, Headland, Flash Frontiers and is forthcoming at Blue Fifth Review. In 2015 she was awarded a New Zealand Society of Authors’ mentorship for work on her novel ‘Pieces Of You’. Eileen works full-time as a consultant haematologist at North Shore Hospital in New Zealand.

Commended by Carrie Kania:

Barbara Weeks


Carrie Kania’s comments:

The first sentence of ‘The She-Wolves’ gives  readers all they think they  want to know – but the question that first sentence raises is why we read on. The language here allows  readers their own emotional relationship with the narrator. And we are left hoping that after the thaw things end well.

About Barbara Weeks

Barbara Weeks’ writing career began as a columnist for the now defunct ‘Today’ newspaper, telling of ‘life as a teenage mum on a council estate’. She later wrote copy for several other nationals before returning to education and completing an MA in Creative Writing (among other things). More recently, she has taught Literacy, ESOL and Creative Writing in community education.

With a passion for history, she was runner up in the Jerwood Historical Short Story Competition in 2012 and Wells Festival of Literature in 2013. She loves protagonists who are rebels, radicals or outsiders and is currently writing a novel about such women, set in the 17th Century.