Winners 2023

Huge congratulations to all the winning writers in our 2023 Award, which received c.1000 entries from around the world. You can read our judge Farhana Shaikh’s comments in general and on their brilliant short stories in her report and the stories will be published in our 2023 anthology in November this year. The BSSA team has also selected and commented on the winner of the Acorn Award for an unpublished writer.

Patrick Holloway

First Prize, ‘The Language of Remembering´ by Patrick Holloway. Patrick is a prizewinning writer of stories and poems. His work has appeared in The Stinging Fly, The London Magazine, Carve, Southword, The Moth, among many others. He is an editor of the literary journal, The Four Faced Liar. He has just finished a novel that originated from the short story in this anthology and is busy tidying it up before sending it back to his agent.

Nathan Bailey

Second Prize, ‘Manifesto’ by Nathan Bailey. Nathan is a musician, barman, and student. He is currently studying for an MFA in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. He began writing short stories in 2021. This is his first work in print. He lives in Burnage, Greater Manchester.

Sudha Balagopal

Third Prize, ‘He’ll Take Good Care of Her’ by Sudha Balagopal.
Sudha’s fiction straddles continents and cultures to explore the human condition. Herhighly commended novella in flash, Things I Can Tell Amma, was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2021. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn, and two short story collections. Her short pieces have appeared in literary journals worldwide. Recently, her short fiction won the CRAFT Amelia Gray 2K contest and her work was selected for Best Small Fictions 2023. When she’snot writing, she teaches yoga.

Genevieve Flintham

Acorn Award for an unpublished writer of fiction, ‘Why We Don’t Talk About Trumpets’ by Genevieve Flintham. Genevieve studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and has recently been shortlisted for the Periscope, Globe Soup and Elmbridge Short Story Competitions. As a new writer of short fiction and poetry, Genevieve is also working on longer fiction, exploring the role of gender within relationship dynamics. By day, Genevieve is a Data Privacy Consultant, navigating the murky world of AI. She is also currently taking some time out to explore Asia: she has most recently sipped soju in bunkers in Seoul and daydreamed under weeping willows in Kyoto.

Danielle Vrublevskis

Local Prize winner and highly commended by Farhana Shaikh, ´Breathwork’, by Danielle Vrublevskis. ‘Danielle was born in Germany, and currently lives in the South West. She worked as a bookseller and researcher, and her short stories have been published in Extra Teeth and Dear Damsels, as well as being shortlisted for the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize and the Bristol Short Story Prize. In her spare time, she likes martial arts, marshes and melancholic video game music.

Penny Simpson

Highly Commended by Farhana Shaikh ´The Owl Tamer by Penny Simpson.
Penny is a novelist and short story writer with a PhD in Creative Writing. Her short fiction has been widely published, including in Short Fiction Journal, TheMechanics Institute Review, and Best of European Fiction. She was longlisted for the2021 V.S. Pritchett Award and short-listed for the 2019 Bridport Short Story Prize. In spring 2023, she was creative writing lead for WISE Wellbeing a social proscribingproject run by NHS Wales/Arts Council Wales for people living with long-term healthconditions and chronic pain.