We’re Launching the Brighton Prize Anthology in Edinburgh

Three of the six major writing awards for The Brighton Prize 2017 went to Scottish writers.

To celebrate, we’re launching the 2018 Brighton Prize Anthology, which features winning and shortlisted stories from the 2017 prize, in Edinburgh.

Join us at Golden Hare Books on May 3rd at 6.30pm to hear stories from our winner Paula Hunter and shortlisted writers Douglas Bruton and Joanna Piesse.

This is a great opportunity to mingle with some of our winning writers and hear live stories in friendly surroundings.

Tickets are £5 and are available here.



Congratulations to our 2017 Winners

On the evening of November 17th, story lovers gathered in the Brunswick cellar bar to be the first to find out who won this year’s Brighton Prize.

Here they are:

The short story prize:

Winner: Wait  – Paula Hunter


Runners up:
The Mixing Up of Love and Hate – Douglas Bruton
Winter Break – Megan Taylor


The Flash Fiction Prize:


Winner: Jellyfish – Haleh Agar


Runners up:
Boulder – Sharon Boyle
Hoof – Sally Tissington


The Sussex Prize:
The Art of Learning From Aunts
Fallen Angels
Both by Astra Bloom


We’ll have more about the winners very soon.


Here is Lonny Pop, our compere, with short story winner Paula Hunter and flash winner Haleh Agar.


The Shortlists are Here

We’re pleased to announce the 2017 Brighton Prize shortlists.

We’ll be announcing the winners at a special show at The Brunswick in Hove. Entry is free. If you’d like to come along, let us know here.


Short Stories:

Alex Morrison – Life

Anthony Howcroft – Wild Animals

Astra Bloom – The Art of Learning From Aunts is Hard to Master, it May Take Several Lifetimes

Douglas Bruton – The Mixing Up of Love and Hate

Joanna Piesse – Sewn by Ann Yates and Eliza Worth in the Year 1818

Jon Greaves – Elysia

Liam Brown – Possum

Megan Taylor – Winter Break

Paula Hunter – Wait

Ren Watson – Indestructible


Flash Fiction:

Astra Bloom – Fallen Angels

Freya Morris – Dead Bulbs

Haleh Agar- Jellyfish

Leonard Kress – Painters and Potters at Play

Nancy Ludmerer – Morris and Cleo

Ren Watson – The Spy

Sally Tissington – Hoof

Sharon Boyle – Boulder

Sharon Bennett – Thunderbirds are Go

Shaun Stevenson – iTopia


2017 Long-lists Announced

The following writers have been longlisted for the Brighton Prize 2017. If you are on the list please don’t post the title of your story on social media. The short-list will be announced later in the month and the winners in October. Thanks to everyone who entered, as usual the standard was amazing and we’re sorry if you didn’t make the long-list.


William Konarzewski
Liz Chapman
Richard Smyth
Richard Reeves
Dean Gessie
Lara Toohey
Alisa Lockwood
John Herbert
Alan McCormick
martin nathan
Craig Burnett
Jon Greaves
Hannah Persaud
Ren Watson
Alex Morrison
Liam Brown
Kevin Morey
Kit Austin
Rhiannon Lewis
Pascal Vine
Astra Bloom
Judith Wilson
Ruth Harper
Morgan Parks
Dean Gessie
Louise Mangos
Simon Messingham
jan petrie
Selma Carvalho
Charlotte Skea-Strachan
Marc Joan
Hannah Persaud
Paula Hunter
Andrew Chung
Megan Taylor
Anthony Howcroft
Lynne E Blackwood
Joanna Piesse


Jenny Woodhouse
Robert Kibble
Sarah Baxter
Roger Dean
Bren Gosling
Freya Morris
Sharon Boyle
Sally Tissington
Shaun Stevenson
Haleh Agar
Astra Bloom
Leonard Kress
Nancy Ludmerer
Liz Brooks
Zoë Meager
Ren Watson
Sharon Bennett

Lucy Fox

The Brighton Prize Anthology is Launched

We’ll be launching the Brighton Prize 2016 anthology this Sunday 3rd September, from 2 to 5 PM at the Brunswick in Hove.

The anthology features winning and highly regarded stories from last year’s Brighton Prize as well as stories read at Rattle Tales shows.

Entry is free – please join us for a drink and story readings from these authors:

Josie Turner – Learning My Lesson
Bee Lewis –  City of Angels
Niall Drennan – Kiss
Tracy Fells  – The Frost Hare
Clare Martin – Knowing Me, Knowing You
Ingrid Jendrzewski – When Dreams Are Large and Tusked
Amelia Roberts – Synaesthesia
Gill Laker – Willows

Our 2016 winner on writing her winning story

Josie Turner’s story Learning My Lesson won the 2016 Brighton Prize. In this blog, she talks about how she came to write the story and how she felt about winning. You’ll be able to read Josie’s story in the Brighton Prize anthology, published later this year. 


Learning My Lesson came to me almost fully formed one day in late spring, when I heard in my head a certain tone of voice – sardonic, worldly, donnish – emanating, quite unnaturally, from a frightening young woman.

I knew that I disliked Jane, and was afraid of her. I have no idea what crime she committed and I’ve never let myself speculate about it. Gaps, absences, and oblique views are part of the essence of the story. I felt sorry for poor Miss Harker, the sort of kind and professional person who works in forsaken places, never quite understanding the impact she makes there.

The story wrested control from me just as Jane wrests it from her teacher. At a certain point I sensed I might leave the room, make a cup of tea, and return to find another hundred words on the screen. I don’t mean that it was easy, or effortless – no-one writes an effortless story – simply that all the work had gone on in my subconscious, perhaps over years. I was thinking of the British Library’s fantastic ‘Gothic‘ exhibition, along with my memories of reading novels aloud in class, and of institutions in the mid-nineties, their sprawling wings shuttered and demolished one by one.

It was peculiar and wonderful to find that other people responded to Learning My Lesson. The organisers of The Brighton Prize brought many writers together for the prize-giving evening, where Jane and Miss Harker read and mis-read Frankenstein under the spotlight, and I drank too much Prosecco. I’d like to thank Alice, Erinna, the judges and readers for their kindness and support, and all the writers for their generosity. I can’t wait to read their work in the anthology.


Josie Turner lives in Kent and works in London. She’s had fiction published in Luna Station Quarterly, Words with Jam, The Frogmore Papers and Mslexia. In 2015 she was a joint winner of the Plough short story competition, and in 2016 she received the Emrys Foundation’s Sue Lile Inman award for fiction.

The Brighton Prize prizegiving 2016

A selection of photos from our 2016 prizegiving reception at the Nightingale Room in Brighton.


Meet the winners

We’re thrilled to be able to announce our winning and shortlisted authors. Huge thanks goes to our judges, our dedicated panel of expert readers, and of course, everyone who entered.

The winners were announced at a prizegiving reception at the Nightingale Room in Brighton. The judges and many of the shortlisted authors were there to share stories and wisdom over a a glass of champagne. Josie Turner read her winning short story and runner-up Jacqueline Burns represented the flash fiction category.

You’ll be able to read the stories in our 2017 Brighton Prize and Rattle Tales anthology.

Got a winning story in your mind? We’ll open the 2017 prize early next year.

See photos from the night here


The short story prize winners


Winner: Josie Turner, Learning my Lesson

Josie Turner lives in Kent and works in London. She’s had fiction published in Luna Station Quarterly, Words with Jam, The Frogmore Papers and Mslexia. In 2015 she was a joint winner of the Plough short story competition, and in 2016 she received the Emrys Foundation’s Sue Lile Inman award for fiction.



laura-morgan-headshotRunner up: Laura Morgan, On an Earth Uniformly Covered by Sea

Laura Morgan’s stories have been long and short-listed for various competitions including the Moth Short Story Prize, the Colm Tóibín Award, and the Bristol Prize. She is published in Northwords Now, Causeway/Cabhsair, and Words from an Island among other places.


 imag1532Runner up: Astra Bloom, The Vagina and the Gypsy.

Astra had always written in secret until a midsummer moon in 2015 persuaded her to stop being such a coward. She won Bare Fiction poetry 2015, was a notable contender for the Bristol prize, and has a story shortlisted for 2016 Bridport Prize. Astra has worked in cafes, schools, and on fashion shoots; she has messed up, run off to Paris, been penniless and ill. Astra home educated her children until they flew off taking her best wok with them. She’s a Difficult Woman soothed by red velvet and notebooks. She is editing her first novel whilst having a flirtatious relationship with her second.


Brighton PrizeHighly commended: Cressida Evans, The Bed

Cressida Evans is a Welsh writer living in Salvador in the North East of Brazil.  She has travelled throughout her life and is interested in how cultures clash and meld and in how landscape and history affect us.



The Sussex prize winner


bee-lewisBee LewisCity of Angels

Born in Liverpool, Bee Lewis now lives in East Sussex, on the south coast, with her husband and their Irish Setter. She has a number of publishing credits and is currently studying for her Creative Writing MA with Manchester Metropolitan University.



The flash fiction prize winners


Brighton PrizeWinner: D.R.D Bruton, That Song By Van Morrison

D.R.D. Bruton won The Neil Gunn Memorial prize 2015, the William Soutar Prize in 2014 and HISSAC in 2008. He has been published by Aesthetica, Fiction Attic Press, Brittle Star Magazine, The Vestal Review and The Irish Literary Review.



photo-gillian-lakerRunner up: Gillian Laker, Willows

Gillian Laker is a poet and writer of short fiction. She was the 2013 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year and was shortlisted for the International Troubadour prize in 2012. Cinnamon Press will be publishing her illustrated poetry collection, Curious Voices, in 2017.



Jacqui BurnsRunner up: Jacqueline BurnsDark Matter

After twenty years as long-haul cabin crew, Jacqui decided to return to university and study English. She enrolled on Sussex University’s Creative Writing Programme and, after graduating, was shortlisted for the ‘Sussex New Writing’ Award. Currently dividing her time between Sussex and south-west France, (where she and her husband have renovated an old farmhouse) Jacqui is busy setting up a writer’s retreat in an English Shepherd Hut and is working on her first novel.


Shortlisted short stories


tracy_fellsTracy FellsThe Frost Hare

Tracy Fells lives besides the South Downs in West Sussex. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and online. Tracy recently completed a MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University and is seeking representation for a crime mystery novel and her short story collection.

Hannah PersaudHannah PersaudThe Fox

Hannah writes in her spare time. This year she won the Fresher Publishing Short Story prize, and has had stories shortlisted in several prestigious competitions. In 2015 she completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course and she is putting the finishing touches to her first novel “Woven”. She will be seeking representation shortly.


Amanda MasonAmanda MasonSiren

Amanda Mason lives in York. Some of her short stories appear in collections produced by Cracked Eye, Storms, Lies and Wildcards, The Fiction Desk, New Ghost Stories, and New Ghost Stories II, Parthian Books, A Flock of Shadows, Gumbo Press, Eating My Words: 2014National Flash Fiction Day Anthology  and Unthank Books Unthology 8, as well as featuring in The Ghastling Book II  and Holdfast Anthology 2013-2014.  Her first novel was longlisted in the Mslexia Novel Competition in 2013, her second was longlisted for the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award earlier this year.


Jacq MolloyJacq MolloyIn a Heartbeat

Jacq is an award winning short story writer, performed playwright and experienced arts journalist. Recent publications include short stories in the anthologies ‘Memories of Clothes’ and ‘TheNeedlewriters’. She is a creative writing tutor with a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Sussex University and is a Certified Writing Coach.


Giovanna IozziGiovanna IozziLittle Snoopy Pull Along

Giovanna, a published short fiction writer, is currently working on a novella during a Creative Writing PhD at Goldsmiths where she also teaches a course on the short story. In June, she was shortlisted for Good Housekeeping Magazine’s annual novel competition 2016. This is her first foray into the short, short story.


Amelia RobertsAmelia RobertsSynaesthesia

Amelia is currently a creative and critical writing PhD student at the University of Sussex, researching interpretations and reinterpretations of male intimacy in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. She has worked as a literacy teacher and an editor of academic papers, and writes, collaboratively with friends and alone, in every spare moment she has.

Shortlisted flash fiction


Marie GethinsMarie GethinsThe Art of Breaking a Heart

Marie Geth­ins won/placed in The Short Story, Tethered by Letters, Flash500, Drom­i­neer, The New Writer, Prick of the Spindle and 99fiction.net. Other pieces listed in Boulevard, Bath, Bristol, Brighton, Fish Short Story/Flash/Memoir, James Plunkett, and RTE/Penguin com­pe­ti­tions. Marie is a Pushcart, Best of the Short Fictions, British Screenwriters Award Nominee and a recipient of the 2016 Frank O’Connor Bursary mentorship under Zsuzsi Gartner.


Nick SweeneyNick SweeneyPost-it Mortem

Nick Sweeney’s novel Laikonik Express was published by Unthank Books in 2011. He is a freelance writer and editor, and guitarist with Balkan troubadours the Trans-Siberian March Band. His story Traffic was second-placed in the 2015 V S Pritchett Memorial Prize for Best Short Story.



Stephanie HuttonStephanie HuttonDiscordant

Stephanie Hutton is a clinical psychologist and writer in Staffordshire, UK. She believes in the therapeutic value of short fiction. She has published flash fiction, short stories and poetry online and in print since 2015.



Emma PurshouseEmma PurshouseStella Star Swallower

Emma Purshouse is a freelance writer and performance poet from the Black Country.  She performs regularly at spoken word nights and literature festivals across the country.  Emma has dabbled in stand-up comedy, and recently her children’s poetry collection ‘I Once Knew a Poem Who Wore a Hat’ (Fair Acre Press) won the Rubery Book Award Poetry Prize.  Emma is also an experienced workshop facilitator.


william-davidsonWilliam DavidsonListing Marriage

William Davidson’s stories have been published online with Synaesthesia Magazine and Cheap Pop, and in the anthology Solstice Shorts (Arachne Press). ‘Lyme Regis’ was published in Rattle Tales 4. ‘Radio Alarm’ won the inaugural Bath Flash Fiction Award. William is studying on the Creative Writing MA at York St John University.


Hannah PersaudHannah PersaudThe Freedom of the Sea

Hannah writes in her spare time. This year she won the Fresher Publishing Short Story prize, and has had stories shortlisted in several prestigious competitions. In 2015 she completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course and she is putting the finishing touches to her first novel “Woven”. She will be seeking representation shortly.


Abi AndersenAbi  Siri AndersenSpring

Abi Siri Andersen is a secondary school English teacher and former pop-up restaurateur. She lives in Somerset and is currently writing a murder mystery novel set in the nineteenth century gin factories of Camden Town, London.



Pippa LewisPippa Lewis, The Dog

Pippa lives in Brighton, and is an environmental project manager on large construction projects. She is currently working on a fantasy YA novel, as well as a collection of short stories. Her writing is often influenced by our relationships with the environment, nature and animals.

The shortlist

After three and a half months of reading, we’ve whittled down the hundreds of entries we received to two shortlists of 11.


The stories are now with the judges who will decide which are the winners, and which the runners-up.

We can’t yet let you know who the authors are, as the judging must be anonymous. Once the decision has been made, we’ll make their names public.


You’ll be able to read the stories next year – all shortlistees will be offered publication in our next anthology.


Shortlisted short stories:

Little Snoopy Pull Along
Learning my Lesson
The Bed
The Frost Hare
The Fox
On an Earth Uniformly Covered by Sea
In a Heartbeat
The Vagina and the Gypsy
City of Angels


Shortlisted flash fiction:

The Art of Breaking a Heart
Post-it Mortem
Stella Star Swallower
That Song by Van Morrison
Listing Marriage
The Freedom of the Sea
Dark Matter
The Dog