Winners BSSA 2020

    Many congratulations to the winners and commended writers in the 2020 BSSA Award. You can read comments on the stories by our shortlist judge Kate Johnson and the BSSA team on our Judges’ Comments post. These brilliant stories will be published in our 2020 BSSA anthology this November.

    Marissa Hoffmann

    First Prize:The Pencil Drawn Girl by Marissa Hoffmann

    Marissa’s fiction won the Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2019 and her stories have been variously podium-placed or listed in international competitions such as Mslexia, FlashBack Fiction, Fish, Flash Frontier’s Micro Madness and Reflex. Her flash stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, BIFFY 50 and Best Micro Fiction and one of her stories appears on the US Wigleaf Top 50 2020 long list. Read more about Marissa on She is currently working on her first novel. You can follow Marissa @Hoffmannwriter.

    Sharon Telfer

    Second Prize: Under A Whalebone Roof by Sharon Telfer.

    Sharon lives in the Yorkshire Wolds, where she works as a non-fiction writer and editor. She started writing fiction in 2015. Her flash fiction has won prizes, including the Bath Flash Fiction Award (twice) and the Reflex Flash Fiction Prize. In 2018, she was awarded the New Writing North/Word Factory Short Story Northern Apprenticeship for emerging writers. Her work has been selected for the Test Signal anthology of the best contemporary Northern writing, to be published by Dead Ink Books and Bloomsbury in 2021. She tweets @sharontelfer.

    Samanthi Munasing

    Third Prize: Rice On a Banana Leaf by Samanthi Munasing

    Samanthi was born in Sri Lanka and lives in the village of Alfriston in East Sussex.
    Following a Creative Writing course at Sussex University she began working on her novel which is now complete. She is an avid reader and loves walking in the South Downs.

    Justine Bothwick
    Photo credit: Annamaria Mazzei

    Commended: Another Man’s Smile by Justine Bothwick.

    Justine grew up in Kent and Hampshire. She is a graduate of the Manchester Writing School’s Creative Writing MA programme. In 2005 she moved to Rome, Italy where she still lives and teaches. She has short stories published in Fictive Dream, Virtual Zine, Confingo Magazine, and forthcoming in The Lonely Crowd, and with Nightjar Press. Her novel – In the Mirror, a Peacock Danced – will be published by Agora Books in 2021.

    Commended: Exterior. Train Station Platform. Night by Dan Powell.

    Dan Powell

    Dan Powell is a prize-winning author of short fiction, a First Story writer-in-residence and Doctoral Researcher in Creative Writing at University of Leicester. His stories have appeared in The London Magazine, Carve and Best British Short Stories and his debut collection, Looking Out of Broken Windows, was shortlisted for the Scott Prize and longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. He is currently working on his PhD as an AHRC/Midlands4Cities-funded Doctoral Researcher in Creative Writing at University of Leicester. His thesis explores preclosure and closural staging in short fiction. Dan can be found online at and as @danpowfiction.

    Stephen Gibbin

    The Acorn Prize for an Unpublished Writer: The Quiet One by Stephen Gibbin.

    Stephen Gibbin was born and raised in North Yorkshire, where he lives with his wife and four children. He is currently working on a collection of short stories, along with a novel. The Quiet One is his first published work.

    Robin Booth

    Local Prize (donated by Mr B’s Emporium of Books) Two Towns by Robin Booth
    Robin Booth has written plays that have been performed at theatres in London, in Oxford and at the British Library. He lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, with his wife and two children, and works for an independent publishing company that specialises in theatre. His short stories have been selected for two Stroud Short Stories events. He’s looking forward to the day when theatres can open their doors to live audiences again.