Winners, BSSA 2022

Huge congratulations to all our winning and commended writers in the International Bath Short Story Award, 2022. The winning and commended stories were selected by our judge, writer, editor and writing teacher, Paul McVeigh and the Local and Acorn Award prizes were chosen by the BSSA team. Read the comments on the stories in our judges’ report. These winning stories, along with all the other brilliant shortlisted stories, will be published in our ninth anthology, to be published by Ad Hoc Fiction in November 2022.

First Prize Winner: ‘Dead Dog’ by Kate O’Grady

Kate O’Grady lives in Stroud. Her short stories have been long listed/short listed or placed in Bath Flash Fiction Competition, Reflex Fiction Flash Fiction Competition, The Phare Short Story Competition, Exeter Short Story Competition, Gloucester Writers Network competition, Stroud Book Festival Short Story competition, and published in Storgy Magazine, The Phare Literary Magazine, and Stroud Short Stories Anthology.

Second Prize Winner: ‘The Ghosts that Dance Between Us’ by Emily Devane

Emily Devane is a writer, editor and teacher from Ilkley, West Yorkshire. Her first print publication was the Bath Short Story Award anthology, 2015. Since then, her work has been widely published, most recently in Ambit and Janus Literary. She has won the Bath Flash Fiction Award, a Word Factory Apprenticeship and a Northern Writers’ Award. Her story ‘The Last King of Connemaidh’ was one of four pieces shortlisted for The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing, 2022. Emily teaches creative writing workshops (@wordsmoor), co-hosts Word Factory’s Strike! Short Story Club, and is a founding editor at FlashBack Fiction

Third Prize Winner: ‘Stick People’ by Emer Hoare

Emer Hoare worked for many years as a television creative in documentary and current affairs programming. She has recently completed an MA in creative writing at The Open University, graduating earlier this year. In 2021 she was longlisted in the Irish Writer’s Centre Novel Fair. Emer has been working hard on her writing and is pure delighted to have a story in the anthology. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Commended: ‘Indian Tree’ by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke has been writing for over thirty years and has sixteen published books encompassing both fiction and non fiction. She has just finished an account of a scandalous relationship in Georgian England, research for which took her all over England. She has also completed her next novel – a slow-burn thriller. She lives in Dorset close to the sea.

Commended: ‘Nobody Believes a Woman Named Joanne’ by Anna Dempsey

Anna Dempsey is an American-born writer and teacher based in London. She is currently working towards a PhD in Creative Writing/Creative Grieving at Bath Spa University. She won the 2019 Costa Short Story Award and has been published by Dear Damsels, Popshot, Litro and Ellipsis Zine.

Acorn Award for an Unpublished Writer of Fiction: ‘Acts of Love on the 17.22 from Bristol Temple Meads’ by David Abbott

David Abbott lives up a hill just outside of Abergavenny in Wales with his boyfriend and a rescue dog called Roxy. He is a one-time resident of Bath and a very occasional writer of fiction.

Local Prize winner: ‘Starling Boy’ by Jenny Tunstall

Jenny Tunstall is a short story writer currently living in North Somerset. She spent many years working in academic publishing, having previously computer modelled urban traffic congestion and sold postcards on Bournemouth pier. She distracts herself from writing by walking local footpaths, singing sea shanties with friends on the beach and haunting second-hand book shops. She lived in Montreal for several years and was shortlisted in the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Literary Awards. She won the Home-Start Bridgwater Short Story Prize, placed second in the Saki Short Story Competition and has recently had a short story published in Mslexia.