January is a strange beast, loved and loathed. Loathed for its short days, often dark and drizzly with a chill that penetrates the bones, it seems to drag on for ever ─ when will payday ever come? But it also represents hope and fresh challenges. Named after Janus, the Roman god of doorways, of entrances and exits, whose two faces looked to the future and the past, it came to symbolise beginnings, as well as endings. A month to plan for the year ahead, time to take stock and move on? Or reflect on the past, embrace the unsettling atmosphere of the first month of the year and snuggle up with literature to complement the mood. Continue reading
Farhana Shaikh is a writer and publisher born in Leicester. She is the founding editor of The Asian Writer, an online magazine championing Asian literature. In 2010 she established Dahlia Publishing to publish regional and diverse writing talent. She has facilitated creative writing workshops and judged competitions in the UK and India. In 2010, Farhana received an Arts bursary from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Farhana now regularly reviews productions for The Reviews Hub. She writes feature articles, poetry, short stories and scripts. Farhana lives in Leicester with her husband and their two children. She can be found on Twitter @farhanashaikh talking about books and publishing.
Hello Farhana. We’re delighted you’ve agreed to judge this year’s competition and thank you for answering the following questions. We’re sure everyone will be fascinated to read your responses. Continue reading
Friday, 9th December may have been frosty in Bath but there was a warm atmosphere in our virtual reading room where 16 of the anthology authors, friends and family members gathered to share and listen to some brilliant stories. This was our ninth launch and the third on Zoom. Although live events are great fun, Zoom has made it possible for writers and guests to be with us from different parts of the world and from different time zones: Kerry Jewell joined us from Australia at 5am local time, Anna Dempsey from Sacramento at 1pm and all the other writers, including Emer Hoare from Dublin, popped up on screen from various locations across the UK.
Our first anthology was produced in collaboration with Good Housekeeping magazine in 2013 as an e-book and it was thrilling to see our dream in creating the award realised. Now, a further nine books on, we feel so fortunate to have been able to share the work of more than 150 writers (several have made multiple appearances) over the years. Continue reading
Our tenth yearly international short story award is now open for entries. Closes Monday, 24th April 2023.
Stories on any theme or subject up to 2200 words. Continue reading
Last Friday morning, Jude and Alison met Jenny Tunstall, our BSSA 2022 Local Prize winner, at Mr B’s Emporium of Books in Bath, so owner Nic Bottomley could present the book vouchers he generously donated for her win. We all posed in front of the book-filled bath in this fabulous bookshop and had a celebratory cup of coffee afterwards. A happy occasion. And thanks very much to Mr B’s for continuing to support our BSSA Award. Continue reading
Just under 1000 entries were submitted to the 2022 Award and we thank our dedicated and enthusiastic group of initial readers for helping the team arrive at a longlist of fifty. From there it was a difficult task for us to find the shortlist of twenty brilliant stories which we sent to our final judge, writer, editor and teacher, Paul McVeigh Thank you very much to him for making his selections and for his comments below. The BSSA team’s comments on the stories selected for The Acorn Award for an unpublished writer of fiction and The Local Prize are also included at the end of Paul’s report. We’re looking forward to reading all the winning and shortlisted stories in print in our ninth paperback anthology, which will be launched in November, 2022. Continue reading
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.
Congratulations to all the BSSA 2022 shortlisted writers, listed here in alphabetical order. In his general remarks, our shortlist judge Paul McVeigh said:
“The 2022 shortlist was strong. It speaks to the reputation of the Bath Short Story Prize that the stories had such variety in genre, plot and style with impressive quality and I very much enjoyed reading them.”