BSSA 2021

Judge’s Report, BSSA 2021

Thanks very much to our 2021 BSSA judge, Norah Perkins from Curtis Brown for her overall comments on the stories she received and on the winners. The BSSA team were also delighted to offer and comment on the Local Prize by a shortlisted author on our list. It’s a big task, as Norah says to choose from such a great selection and we very much appreciate all she has to say about the Award and the entries she read. Read the bios of the winners and highly commended writers here and the bios of the shortlisted writers here.


It was a very great pleasure and an honour to judge the 2021 Bath Short Story Award. I work primarily with writers who are no longer alive but whose work lives on and is treasured by generations of readers. And so for me especially it is always exciting to have the opportunity to read new voices, and to imagine the ways that these writers will continue to interpret their world, and to bring their stories to us lucky readers in the years to come.

In a year when so many hav Continue reading

Shortlisted Writers’ Bios, BSSA, 2021

We’re looking forward to reading all the wonderful shortlisted stories alongside our winners in our 2021 anthology, which will be published by Ad Hoc Fiction towards the end of this year and available from their bookshop at as well as on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats. The authors of all the stories are listed alphabetically below and you can read our judge, Norah Perkin’s comments about the shortlist in her report. Many congratulations to all.

Peter Burns

Peter Burns who wrote The Ghost of Your Words holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing, with distinction, and a BA (Hons) in Literature, both from the Open University. He won first place in the Flash 500 competition in November 2020, after several years of being shortlisted and longlisted. He has been shortlisted in the Flash 500 short story competition and longlisted in the TSS Cambridge Prize for Flash Fiction as well as having previously been longlisted in the Bath Short Story Award. He has stories published in FlashBack Fiction and Flashflood journal for National Flash Fiction Day.

Maria Clark

Maria Clark who wrote Georgie Three is a writer and lover of languages, travel, photography and history. As a third-year English Literature and Creative Writing student at Lancaster University, her work has been published by Bandit Fiction and CP Quarterly, and other achievements include winning the First Story National Writing Competition (2016) and being shortlisted for the Iggy&Litro Young Writers’ Prize (2017) and the Sunderland Short Story Award (2018). She is currently seeking representation for her debut novel. As well as writing, Maria loves travelling, spending time with family and exploring new cultures. She is particularly excited to move to the Netherlands this summer to undertake a work-based placement. Continue reading

Shortlist BSSA 2021

Many congratulations to the writers shortlisted in our 2021 Award. You are welcome to share that you are shortlisted on social media and elsewhere, but as judging is still in process, we ask you not to link your name with your story. Results will be announced on 23rd July on this website and on social media.

2021 Bath Short Story Award Shortlist
At Anderson’s Field tba
Breathing Patterns tba
Davey, Plastic Jesus And The Holy Spirit tba
Georgie Three tba
Hail tba
Important Letters tba
In Bed With My Sister tba
Jellyfish tba
L’chaim tba
Ma’s Favourite tba
On The Beauty Of Sad Endings tba
Part Time Signals tba
Pigeons tba
The Ghost of Your Words tba
The Great Pretender tba
The Mountain Range Behind The Clothes Rack tba
The Pheasant tba
Two Samosas And A Bag Of Crisps tba
Your Car Has Broken Down tba


It’s the last day to enter our 9th Award today, 19th April, 2021. You might have a story of up to 2200 words to dust off. It can be much shorter than that.
You have until midnight to enter. Any themes and subject matters are welcome from international writers. And we don’t have a lower word limit. Continue reading

Ten Tiny Tweaks with Two Weeks to Go!

With two weeks to go until the £1750 prize fund 2021 Bath Short Story Award, judged by Norah Perkins, from Curtis Brown, closes at midnight on Monday April 19th, try these ten tiny tweaks to your story before you enter. Continue reading

A Compilation of Writing Advice

Photo by Ryan Jones at Unsplash

It’s five weeks today until our 2021 Award closes on Monday April 19th, 2021.

To help you edit and shape your short story before submitting it, we’ve compiled a selection of tips from some writers we’ve interviewed over the years. We first posted this advice back in 2016 and there’s some really useful comments on beginnings, endings, themes, creating a stand-out story, titles and that all-important fine-editing. Continue reading