Short Story Award


We were delighted to support a new short story prize, run by the Northern Short Story Festival and the Leeds Big Bookend Festival.


The winners were announced and the book was published at the Leeds Library on 22nd May 2018. The anthology, entitled May You (after one of Walter's poems which is included) contains the top twenty stories as judged by Anna Chilvers and Angela Readman. Anna presented the prizes to the top three authors. You can read more about the book and the winners in the link here: 

We were particularly delighted that Sarah Brooks, who was the overall winner, went on to win the Lucy Cavendish Prize for her novel, The Cautious Traveller’s Guide to the Wastelands. It was pleasing to see reference to our prize in the announcement:


The competition was launched at the Northern Short Story Festival at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds in June 2017. 


The judges were Anna Chilvers, author of Tainted Love, and Angela Readman, winner of the Costa Short Story Prize. Judge Anna Chilvers says: 'It's wonderful that the Walter Swan Trust is dedicated to nurturing emerging talent and I am delighted to be a part of this.'


There were cash prizes of £200, £100 and £50 for the three winners. The top 20 stories were published in an anthology by Valley Press in May 2018.



The Walter Swan Trust has sponsored three subsequent events with Leeds Big Bookend. The first was an editing workshop in November 2018 with award-winning British-Caribbean author James Ross. There were 12 participants including two on subsidised places.


The second was a Surrealism in Fiction workshop in February 2019 with eminent Chinese author Yan Ge, and was a collaboration with the UK Chinese Writers’ Network and the Centre for New Chinese Writing at Leeds University. There were 16 attendees with 3 on subsidised places.


Finally we sponsored a 6-month writer development scheme starting in September 2019, supporting 6 new short story writers to develop their skills in a programme led by writer Anna Chilvers.



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