The Sunday Times on Sunday announced support to a new literary prize worth 25,000 pounds - the biggest prize money for a short story in Britain and Ireland.
The contest is open to authors who have already had their work published in Britain and Ireland, and is intended to attract well-published as well as relatively unknown stories.
Entrants to the contest will have to write a story of maximum 7,000 words. Besides the winning prize of 25,000 pounds, there will be five other prizes of 500 pounds each for the runners-up. The first winner of the award will be announced next March at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.
The award follows the success of a regular short-story slot in The Sunday Times Magazine in which authors like Julian Barnes, Zoe Heller and Hilary Mantel, who is favourite to win this year’s Man Booker prize with her novel ‘Wolf Hall´, contributed. Writers like Alexei Sayle and Julie Burchill too penned stories for the magazine. “Our weekly short story has been a great success, attracting some of the most talented names,” said John Witherow, editor of The Sunday Times.
Authors who have recently penned volumes of short stories include India’s Arvind Adiga, who won the Man Booker prize last year for his novel ‘The White Tiger´. Other well-known writers such as Alice Munro and Helen Simpson also have an expertise in the genre. John Updike’s last book, published just after his death earlier this year, was also a volume of short stories.