AND THE WINNERS OF THE MOTH SHORT STORY PRIZE 2021 ARE ...
1st prize Lost City by Janice
Deal American Janice Deal signed up for a fiction-writing class at
Northwestern University while working as a magazine editor in Chicago in the
1990s. That experience proved to be transformative, sparking within her a love
of storytelling. Since then, her
has won the Cagibi Macaron Prize for fiction and has appeared in magazines
including Fiction, The Sun and
the Harvard Review Online. Her first story collection, The Decline of
Pigeons, was a finalist in the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction,
and her debut novel, The Sound of Rabbits, is forthcoming from Regal
House Publishing in the US.
Deal’s “Lost City” is such a good story, dimensional, far-reaching, with a
strangeness that feels true. It anatomises narrative, and also the hows and
wheres of how and where we imagine we live, and do live, and the inevitable
deteriorations, physical and mental, of hope and spirit and promise. It
holds these things very lightly so the effect is even more haunting, as
haunting as that lost place in the forest or in the self that you can’t ever
really map though you keep tripping over the kerb of it all your life. Its
revelation of inevitable disaffection is so quiet and true it’s
near-cataclysmic, and very everyday.’
Listen to Janice read an extract from her story here.
Among the Dead With Go by Kathy Stevens
Kathy Stevens, who currently works as a butcher in Stratford-upon-Avon,
studied English at Bath Spa University. She later earned a Master's in creative
writing at UEA, winning the inaugural Kowitz Scholarship for a writer of
limited financial means. Her fiction has appeared in The Moth, Litro, MIR and elsewhere, and she won the Bath
Short Story Award in 2017.
‘I loved this. It’s dry as f*ck, there’s not a
sentence wasted, it’s funny and mordant and piercing and dark and well judged,
and it’s a total delight. May this writer flourish.’
Listen to Kathy read an extract from her story here.
Miss Pauanui by
Cait Kneller lives in Auckland, New Zealand, where she works
as a bookseller. Her writing has also appeared in Strong Words: The
Best of the Landfall Essay Competition. She is working on a
novel-in-stories, of which Miss Pauanui is a part.
‘It is funny
and brutal. Its brutality is necessary and nourishing. You might say this
story’s – a beauty.’
Listen to Cait read an extract from her story here.
stories are published in the autumn 2021 issue of The Moth,
available to purchase here.
Ali Smith also commended the
by Evan Brookes
Brooke’s work has previously been published in the Threepenny Review, the
Chicago Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from the Bennington
Writing Seminars and is at work on her first novel. A former high school
English teacher, Evan lives with her family outside of Philadelphia.
story about the making and taking of life manages against all the odds to have
one foot off the ground, and to pull off a marvellous ending.’
Death by Barry Sheils
Barry Sheils is from
Ireland. He lives and works in England.
a piece of real courage. Its uncompromising form and uncompromising eye both
release something necessary and human. Its being told at a remove is
ingenious, modulates its near-untakeable intensity, makes it somehow
unbelievably gentle as well as foul and uncompromising. It approaches the
pernicious and at the same time is its opposite. That’s quite something.’
ABOUT THE PRIZE
The Moth Short Story Prize is an
international prize, open to anyone from anywhere in the world, as long as
their story is original and previously unpublished. The winners are chosen by a
single judge each year, who reads the stories anonymously. Previous judges include
Mike McCormack, Belinda McKeon, Donal Ryan, Kit de Waal, Kevin Barry and Mark
THE JUDGE The Prize was judged this year by Ali Smith, the author of many works of fiction, including
five collections of short stories and, most recently, the seasonal quartet, Autumn,
Winter, Spring and Summer. Her work has won multiple awards.
With thanks to Circle of Misse for the superb
second prize of a week-long writing retreat in France and a travel stipend of
€250. Their house rests on the banks of the Thouet River (a tributary of the
Loire), ‘thouet’ being the ancient Gallic word for ‘tranquil’.
Call 00 353 87 2657251 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details