Voting for the 2020 Costa Short Story Award Opens

Dec 12, 2020by Chiamaka1

If you have ever wanted to participate in the selection process for a literary contest, now is the time to flex those muscles by voting for the 2020 Costa Short Award.

The Costa Short Story Award, now in its ninth year, is open to both published and unpublished writers. The Award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words, written in English by an author aged 18 years or over.

Deadline of voting for the 2020 Costa Short Story Award

January 8, 2021

A little summary of the voting process for the 2020 Costa Short Story Award 


  • 2,053 entries were received
  • Submissions were judged anonymously (i.e. without the identity of the author being known by the judges) by a panel comprising: 
  1. Sarah Franklin, founder of Short Stories Aloud and Senior Lecturer in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University; Radio 2 Book Club producer,
  2. Joe Haddow; literary agent,
  3. Simon Trewin,
  4. Authors Adele Parks, author
  5. Kit de Waal, author and a finalist for the Costa Short Story Award in 2013.

and three stories were selected. All entries were judged anonymously

  • The general public is now invited to vote for their favourite from a shortlist of the following three stories, which can be downloaded either to read or to listen to on They are:


  1. How Adult Conversation Works: Setting off on a mini cruise together, a mother promises her son her romantic misadventures are a thing of the past.
  2. The Lobster Waltz: A young woman explores LA while, back in Dublin, her famous father claims an actress has replaced her.
  3. The Person Who Serves, Serves Again: Sal hasn’t seen her brother for years, so why is he inviting her for a badminton match? Something is being played out, and winning isn’t quite the point…


  • The identities of the authors will be revealed after public voting closes at 5 pm on Friday 8th January 2021, together with up to six more authors whose stories were Highly Commended by the judges
  • The winning author and two runners-up will be announced at the Costa Book Awards virtual ceremony on Tuesday 26th January 2021
  • The winner will receive a cheque for £3,500 and the authors in the second and third place will receive £1,000 and £500 respectively

Previous winners of the Costa Short Story Award includes:

  • Anna Dempsey (2019), a writer and teacher based in London, won with her first piece of short fiction and is currently completing her debut YA novel
  • Caroline Ward Vine (2018), a former magazine publisher from Kent; Newham-based primary school teacher
  • Luan Goldie (2017), whose debut novel Nightingale Point was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 and whose second novel, Homecoming, was published in August 2020
  • Jess Kidd (2016) from Richmond in Surrey, the author of two adult novels and one children’s book, Everyday Magic, published in February 2020
  • Former headteacher Daniel Murphy from Stirling in Scotland (2015), and
  • Writer and Ph.D. student Zoe Gilbert (2014) from Sydenham Hill, South East London.
  • 2013 winner Angela Readman, a Newcastle-based writer, and poet have had two collections published – a story collection (Don’t Try This at Home, 2015) and a poetry collection (The Book of Tides, 2016) – and her first novel, Something Like Breathing, was published in March 2019. The inaugural winner from 2012, Avril Joy – a former prison manager and now full-time writer from Witton-le-Wear in Bishop Auckland – has since published an ebook, From Writing with Love.

For more information on the Costa Short Story Awards, go to


One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: