Our 2023 awards ceremony was held at Watershed in the centre of Bristol on October 14th and was also streamed via Zoom.
The first presentation of the evening went to this year’s anthology cover designer, Isabelle Wallace.
Keza O’Neill won the Sansom Award for the highest placed story by a Bristol-based writer.
Judges, Heather Marks and Dan Ross announced this year’s top 3 prize winners. Third prize also went to Keza O’Neill. Heather says: “I loved the anarchy of Lucky Strike, the thwarted rage, and its commentary on the gentrification of coastal towns. This was a moving study on the erosion of a small town and the pushback against it.”
Marie Gethins won second prize with her story, Go and get your straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all. Dan Ross says: “By some kind of miraculous dexterity, this perfectly judged story manages to be both deeply mysterious and alarmingly precise. Perhaps the highest and truest compliment you could give it would be that it just keeps rewarding repeat readings, offering up a new and unsettling nugget each time you attack it, yielding only the scantest necessary detail of its inspirations and its secrets.”
And Abhishek Sengupta was announced as the winner of the 2023 Bristol Short Story Prize for his story, Things to Do on the Eve of Your Killing. Abhishek read from his story via Zoom. Judge Abi Fellows says: “We admired the inventiveness which this author brought to the form, the poignancy of the story and the beautiful writing. This writer achieved the rare feat of making the story live outside of the pages by allowing us to imagine what preceded and followed the evening described, whilst also making it feel perfectly formed.”
It was great that 11 of this year’s shortlisted writers could be at the awards ceremony to celebrate together.
This year’s 20 shortlisted stories including the top 3 prize winners are available now in our Volume 16 anthology direct from the publisher Tangent Books, or can be ordered from bookshops. https://www.tangentbooks.co.uk/shop/pre-orderr-bssp-16