Bristol Prize

2016 Bristol Short Story Prize Judging Panel

October 22, 2015   Joe Melia

The 2016 Bristol Short Story Prize will be launched next Tuesday, October 27th.

And ahead of opening our new competition we are delighted to announce our brilliant new judging panel for 2016. They bring with them huge experience, knowledge and uncompromising commitment to short stories. They are also wonderful supporters of new and established writers.

Please welcome our new judging panel:

Tania Hershman (Chair)

TaniaTania is the author of two celebrated 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 of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, Dec 2014). Her debut poetry chapbook, Nothing Here is Wild, Everything Is Open, won 2nd prize in the 2015 Fool For Poetry contest, and will be published by Southword Editions in February 2016. Tania’s short stories and poetry have been widely published and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She is curator of ShortStops (, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Bristol University and studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

“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.”


Niven Govinden

NivenNiven is the author of four acclaimed novels, We Are The New Romantics (Bloomsbury, 2004), Graffiti My Soul (Canongate, 2007), Black Bread White Beer, an Observer Book of the Year (HarperCollins, 2013) and most recently All The Days And Nights (HarperCollins, 2014) which was longlisted for the 2015 Folio Prize and was another Observer Book of the Year. He has been twice-shortlisted for the Green Carnation prize. His stories have appeared in Five Dials, First City, Time Out, 3:AM, BUTT, Shortfire Press and on Radio 3.

“I’m looking forward to reading stories that blow me away... ”


 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.”



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