BSSA 2021 Anthology Launch

What’s not to like about Bath Short Story Award cup cakes?

A few weeks ago, on December 3rd , we held a party with cakes, wine and guests from all over the world, crammed together in a writerly buzz ─ separate, yet connected, on two full Zoom screens. For the second year running our anthology launch was online but, although nothing beats the quirky conviviality of an evening at Mr B’s (officially one of the world’s best bookshops, according to The Guardian), with Covid still around it wasn’t an option.

Jude welcomed our authors, guests and Norah Perkins, the 2021 judge. Norah, an agent at Curtis Brown, spoke about the quality of the stories on the shortlist and was full of praise for the authors. 2nd Prize winner Stephanie Carty kicked off the readings with a lively extract from Davey, Plastic Jesus and the Holy Spirit, followed by Seattle-based Kristen Loesch (3rd Prize) who read from Important Letters. Further readings were from Lynda Mason’s Highly Commended The Great Pretender, which also won The Acorn Award for an Unpublished Writer of Fiction, The Pheasant by Ruth Bateson which won the Local Prize (sponsored by Mr B’s) and Rosaleen Lynch’s Hail.

The 2021 BSSA anthology is the 8th in the series (the first one was an e-book)

After a fifteen minute ‘break out’ session, Jane introduced the next group of writers with their stories: Catherine Smith Jellyfish; Montreal writer Joshua Levy Pigeons; Samanthi Munasing Two Samosas and a packet of crisps; James Young  At Anderson’s Field;  Elizabeth Cooke L’Chaim  and finally Paul Bassett Davies Your car has broken down.

The last groups of readings, introduced by Alison, continued with Karen Jones Breathing Patterns; Peter Burns Ghost of your words; Maria Clark Georgie 3; R J Lingard Dead End;   Rupert Tebb The Mountain range behind the clothes rack; Emily Devane On the beauty of sad endings and, on a final note, Kate. L. Jefford who won 1st Prize with In Bed with My Sister. 

Following a raffle and the launch of the 2022 award, it was all over ─- but what an entertaining evening it was: engrossing readings, catching up with old writing friends and making new ones, as well as the chance to chat with the judge. We took quite a few photos which are posted here. We also took screenshots of the authors reading their stories but the quality was mixed so we probably won’t post those. That said, if you did read and would like to see your screenshot, please email us at bathshortstory(at)gmail (dot)com

If you joined as a guest and now feel inspired to write a story for the 2022 award, all details are on our website 

A big thank you to everyone who joined us at the launch.

Jane, Jude and Alison