BSSA 2020 Shortlisted Writers’ bios

Many congratulations to all the writers shortlisted in BSSA 2020. All these marvellous stories will be published in our 2020 BSSA anthology out in November. Read our shortlist judge, Kate Johnson’s comments on the shortlist, on our Judges’ Comments post.

Elizabeth Allen

Elizabeth Allen, who wrote Little penguins are the smallest penguin species in the world is a poet and short story writer based in Sydney where she also works as a bookseller at Gleebooks. Her work has found frequent publication in well-respected journals and anthologies both in Australia and overseas,including Cordite, Ajar, Bodega, Overland, Southerly,Meanjin, Australian Book Review, and SAND. The author of two poetry collections, Body Language (Vagabond Press, 2012)and Present (Vagabond Press, 2017), Elizabeth won the Dame Leonie Kramer prize in 2001 and the Anne elder Award in 2012.

L M Brown

L.M Brown who wrote The Memory of Dolls is the author of the novel Debris and collections Were We Awake and Treading the Uneven Road. Her novel Hinterland is forthcoming (2020). Her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and have been published in over a dozen literary magazines, such as The Chiron Review, Eclectica, Litro, Fiction Southeast, Toasted Cheese Her fiction has also won the Press 53-word contest, the Nevermore Flash Fiction contest and has been a finalist for the SmokeLong Quarterly Flash Fiction Award. She grew up in Ireland, but now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters.

Kate Coffey

Kate Coffey, who wrote ‘Queen C’ is a writer and psychotherapist based in Brighton. She has previously been published in Mslexia and is currently completing the two year creative non-fiction programme with New Writing South, developing her own experimental approach to life writing. This story is taken from her growing collection of shorts exploring modern life through the lens of myth. In addition, Kate is working on a full length, creative non-fiction piece.

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke who wrote The Kind Mercy of His Madness, lives in Dorset UK and has been a professional writer for over 30 years.She has had 15 novels published and one non-fiction. When she’s not writing or researching, she’s an enthusiastic landscape painter.Her website is

Louise Dean

Louise Dean who wrote Upgrade Day is the author of four novels; Becoming Strangers, This Human Season, The Idea of Love and The Old Romantic. She is a creative writing tutor and founder of The Novelry.

Paul Dornan

Paul Dornan, who wrote A Twix And A Twingo is a screenwriter, director and actor, specialising in character comedy and comedy-drama. Among many other things he co-created the British Comedy Award-winning Big Impression with Alistair McGowan and the S Club 7 series that sold to over a 100 countries. His single film Doubletime was broadcast by ITV on New Years Eve and his play, Democracy For Beginners by Radio 4. He recently wrote and directed a short film, Curiosity and is currently finishing his debut novel, Baby Steps, a tragi-comic tale of men and parenthood. He lives in London with his wife Hazel and their dog, Watson.

Karen Jones

Karen Jones who wrote Retired Heads is a flash and short story writer from Glasgow. She is a perennial long/short-lister – Commonwealth Short Story Competition, Bath Flash Fiction, Bath Short Story, To Hull and Back, TSS 400, HISSAC– and has won prizes with Mslexia, Flash 500, Words With Jam, Ink Tears and Ad Hoc Fiction. Her work is published in numerous ezines, magazines and anthologies. Her story Small Mercies is included in Best Small Fictions 2019 and the BIFFY50 2019. She is Features Editor for New Flash Fiction Review. Her Novella-in-Flash, When It’s Not Called Making Love, will be published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2020.

Al Kratz

Al Kratz who wrote Redemption Drive, lives in Indianola, Iowa. He is a Senior Editor at New Flash Fiction Review. He has a chapbook forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks. He was short listed the 2018 and 2019 Bath Novella-in-Flash Award. He finished second in the Bath Flash Fiction Award in February, 2016. His stories have been published in Smokelong, Hobart, Bull, Cheap Pop, and others. He was nominated for the Best Small Fictions Anthology by Jellyfish Review and Pithead Chapel. His work can be followed at

Hannah Jingwen Lee

Hannah Jingwen Lee who wrote Visiting In The Year Of the Rabbit was born and raised in Singapore, emigrating to the UK in 2016. She holds undergraduate and masters’ degrees in Archaeology and is happiest at the prospect of a summer spent digging. A relatively new entrant to the world of fiction writing, Hannah’s short stories have appeared in Eunoia Review and STORGY Magazine, among others. She hopes to one day complete a novel.

Sara Mang

Sara Mang who wrote About Face, is a storyteller from Newfoundland, Canada. Her work has appeared in literary journals across Canada and the USA, including The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Canadian Literature, Room, and Carve. With generous funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, Sara attended the 2019 Banff Centre Writing Studio Residency, and the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. This year, Sara was invited to attend the Governor General’s Awards as an emerging literary artist in Canada. She is currently an MFA candidate in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing Program, and lives in Ottawa with her husband and three children.

Hilary Key

Hilary Key who wrote Lovely Day has lived almost half her life overseas, teaching English in three continents, and always writing.In Australia she was commended in the Josephine Ulrick Prize, and her short story ‘Shooting a Wombat’ was selected by JM Coetzee for The Voiceless Anthology. Back in the UK she has been shortlisted for the Bridport prize and received a commendation in the Manchester Fiction Prize. She is currently completing a novel.

Bruce Meyer

Bruce Meyer who wrote Candlemas is author of sixty-four books of poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, and non-fiction. His stories have won the Anton Chekhov Prize for Very Short Fiction and have been short-listed for the Bath Short Story Award, the Fish Short Story Prize, the Tom Gallon Trust Fiction Prize, the Thomas Morton Short Story Prize, the Retreat West Fiction Prize, and the Carter V. Cooper Prize. His most recent collection of short stories is A Feast of Brief Hopes (2018) and a collection of flash stories, Down in the Ground, will be published in October. He lives and teaches in Barrie, Canada.

Harriet Nisbet

Harriet Nisbet who wrote The Love and Trials of a (not very) good woman graduated from university with a BSc in Neuroscience in 2012. Since then, she has worked in hospitality, market research, the police and social care. Recently, she remembered that she had once loved to write and so, she started her first novel. She is currently working on the twelfth draft. She hadn’t anticipated that it would require twelve drafts; It’s all been a bit of a shock. She tweets to three followers from @HarriNiz

Shannon Savvas

Shannon Savvas who wrote The Song Paul Simon didn’t Write is a New Zealand writer who divides her heart and life between Cyprus, England and New Zealand. Winner: Reflex Fiction (Winter 2017); Cuirt New Writing Prize (March 2019); Flash500 FF (Summer 2019). Runner up: Flash500 Short Story (March 2019); TSS Cambridge Flash Fiction (May 2019). Published: Gulf Coast Online; print/online Issue 12 ‘Into the Void’, March/April 2019. Published online (Anti-heroin Chic, Ellipsis, Storgy Magazine, Inktears, Reflex Fiction, Fictive Dream, Cabinet of Heed, Headland Journal NZ (Issue 1-2015 & Issue 13-2018; contributor Horizons 3, Bath Flash Fiction, Bath Short Story Award, Fish, Reflex Fiction, Literary Taxidermy anthologies (2017, 2018, 2019).