Winners of The Moth Short Story Prize 2016 announced
This year’s prize was judged by John Boyne, the author of a collection of short stories, nine novels for adults and five for younger readers, including The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, a New York Times no. 1 Bestseller that has sold over 6 million copies.
With thanks to Circle of Misse
for the second prize of a week-long writing retreat at their house, which rests on the banks of the Thouet River, a tributary of the Loire.
1st prize Yellow Belly by Nikki McWatters
‘This story, set in Australia, is compelling for
its careful juxtaposition of childhood innocence with the darker sides of
family life. The language and descriptive powers of the author suggest a great
talent,’ said John Boyne.
, who is from Australia, has worked in television acting and drama teaching, and also holds
a law degree, but her writing career took off when her memoir, One Way Or Another: The Girl Who Loved Rock
, was shortlisted for a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award. Her new
young adult novel set in Europe during the witch hunts, is being released in
November, and she’s currently writing a novel set in Ireland.
‘It came as a very welcome surprise to
learn that I’d won The Moth Short Story Prize,’ says McWatters. ‘I have a deep
respect for John Boyne’s work so it was an extra honour to have had my story
chosen by him.’
2nd prize Puddles by Sheila Armstrong
‘There’s an intensity to this story that is
brilliantly controlled. Written with almost no dialogue, the sense of pain that
lingers over a single street is highly effective in moving the reader.’
Sheila Armstrong is a writer and editor.
She grew up in the west of Ireland and is now based in Dublin. She has been
published in The South Circular, Literary Orphans, The Irish Independent, Litro
magazine and gorse. In 2015, she was nominated
for a Hennessy Award in the First Fiction category, and she contributed to Young Irelanders, a short story
collection published by New Island Books. She is currently working on her first
collection of short fiction.
3rd prize The Hummingbirds by Kelly McCaughrain
‘After a brilliant opening sentence, The Hummingbirds achieves a lightness of touch that is a delight to read. The author’s skill
with dialogue is also on display throughout.’
Kelly McCaughrain is 38 and lives in Belfast. She was
shortlisted for the Times/Chickenhouse Children’s Fiction Prize 2013 and her
first YA novel, Flying Tips for
Flightless Birds, will be published by Walker Books next year. When she’s
not writing, she works as a student note taker, volunteers with the Fighting
Words Belfast creative writing project, and takes long holidays in her 1967 classic
campervan, Gerda, with her 1977 classic husband, Michael. She recently
completed an English and Creative Writing Degree at Queens University Belfast. This
is her first publication.
All three stories are published in the autumn 2016 issue of The Moth,available to purchase here.