Bristol Prize

2017 Judging Panel

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************The 2017 Bristol Short Story Prize is now closed. A huge thank you to all those who have entered. The longlist will be announced on this website on July 12th. Good luck!


Tania Hershman (Chair)

TaniaTania is the author of two short story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008) and co-author, with Courttia Newland, of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, Dec 2014). A third short story collection (Unthank Books) and debut poetry collection (Nine Arches Press) will be published in 2017. Her debut poetry chapbook, Nothing Here is Wild, Everything Is Open (Southword Editions) was published in 2016. Tania’s short stories and poetry have been widely published and broadcast on BBC Radio. She is curator of ShortStops (, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland.  @taniahershman @shortstopsuk

“When I start reading a story I ask it to surprise and delight me – with voice, with language, with characters, with imagination – and I ask it to leave me changed, even just a tiny bit, by the end.”

Roshi Fernando


Roshi is the winner of the 2009 Impress Prize and the author of the acclaimed short story collection, Homesick (Bloomsbury). She has a PhD in Creative Writing and lectures on short stories. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize in the same year.

“The short story, written well, garners truth from within the writer that becomes universal, and teaches us how to understand ourselves.  That moment – when you meet the eyes of the person you think you will be with forever,  or when your skin prickles a small fire when a painting mirrors you from across a large gallery floor, or when a secret is told: your secret – but by someone who lives on the other side of the world or forty years ago or two hundred years in the future – that is the moment I am looking for.”


 Simon Key

SimonSimon is the co-owner of the award winning Big Green Bookshop in cosmopolitan Wood Green, North London. He opened the shop in 2008, with his business partner Tim West, after the big chain store where they worked in Wood Green closed, leaving the area with no dedicated bookshop.  Simon has worked in bookshops since he left school, starting in Bristol’s legendary George’s Bookshop in Park Street. He moved to London, and spent many years working in various Waterstone’s, including Charing Cross Road, Notting Hill and Oxford Street. Since opening the Big Green Bookshop, Simon has championed the short story and the shop not only has a dedicated short story book group, it also holds regular events, with guests including Will Self, Sophie Hannah, Magnus Mills and last year’s Bristol Prize judge Nikesh Shukla. Simon’s new publishing company, Timeline Books, has also recently published a brilliant collection of short stories by Joseph D’Lacey called Splinters.   @Biggreenbooks

“I’m looking for a story which takes me somewhere unexpected and surprises me. I look forward to being challenged and excited by the stories entered this year. I cannot wait to unearth some gems.”

Juliet Pickering

Juliet PickeringJuliet is a literary agent at Blake Friedmann Agency, representing a wide range of fiction and non-fiction writers. She represents short story writers Janice Galloway, Anneliese Mackintosh and Benjamin Johncock, and novelists Kerry Hudson and Sue Moorcroft – in fact, all of them have written both long and shorter stories! Juliet is a BIG Shirley Jackson fan, and also loves the short fiction of George Saunders, Dan Rhodes, Roald Dahl and Daphne Du Maurier.

“I am looking for surprising and diverse voices; I’d love to find writers who speak from less-told places in society, and who have something startling and important to say in a completely absorbing story.  A sharp sense of humour would be very welcome, too.”

For full details and rules of the 2017 Bristol Short Story Prize please click here.