Costa launches new award for unpublished short story

Costa has launched a new award for a single, previously unpublished short story, with the winner to receive £3,500.

The Costa Short Story Award will run in association with the Costa Book Awards but will be judged independently of the main five-category system, with a separate judging panel to select a shortlist of six entries, unveiled in November. The six shortlisted stories will then be open to an online public vote, with the winner to be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29th January 2013. Two runners-up will each receive £750.

The judges for the inaugural year of the award are Richard Beard, director of the National Academy of Writing; Woman & Home books editor and novelist, Fanny Blake; writer Victoria Hislop; actor, writer and musician Gary Kemp, and William Morris Endeavor agent Simon Trewin. All entries will be judged without the identity of the author being available to the judges.

Entries must be no more than 4,000 words, and written in English by an author aged 18 or over. The author's primary residence over the past three years must have been the UK or Ireland.

Entry opens on Monday 16th July and closes at 4 p.m. on 7th September, via
Costa UK marketing director Kevin Hydes said: “What’s really exciting about our new short story award is that it’s open to absolutely everyone. For the first time, we’re able to extend the reach of the book awards in ways we never have before.

"You don’t need a publisher or an agent to enter this competition, just an idea and writing talent and we’re encouraging anyone who has ever considered writing creatively, and those who write already, professionally or otherwise, to enter.”