Small Wonder Short Story Award

Charleston-Bede’s Award for a Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction.

Awarded to writers with a strong track record in publishing short stories of outstanding quality. Previous recipients are Penelope Lively, Ali Smith, William Trevor, Edna O’Brien and Jane Gardam.

2018 Winner: AS Byatt

We are delighted to announce that Dame Antonia Byatt is the sixth recipient of the only award to recognise long-standing creativity and achievement in the short story genre. AS Byatt is internationally renowned for her novels, including Possession and The Children’s Book, as well as her short story collections: Sugar & Other Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, The Little Black Book of Stories and The Matisse Stories. Her many awards include the Booker Prize and the Erasmus Prize and her writing is translated into thirty languages. She is also a distinguished critic and essayist. AS Byatt will be at the Small Wonder Festival to accept the award as part of the event Cabinet of Curiosities – chaired by Alison MacLeod, Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester, short story writer and novelist who will deliver an appreciation of AS Byatt’s work.

As Byatt Small Wonder 2018 Charleston-Bede's Award for a Lifetime's Excellence in Short Fiction (c) Trevillion 

2017 Winner: Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively is the fifth recipient of the only award to recognise long-standing creativity and achievement in the short story genre. She is the author of several acclaimed short story collections and prize-winning novels, including the Booker Prize for Moon Tiger.

Her latest collection, The Purple Swamp Hen & Other Stories, received universal praise: “The Purple Swamp Hen is an enchanting story that sets the tone for this stellar collection” (Observer). Penelope Lively was in conversation with Di Speirs, BBC Radio’s Editor of Books and member of the Award’s Advisory Panel at the Small Wonder Festival 2017.

Pictured above receiving her award at the festival from Charleston Director, Nathaniel Hepburn.

2016 Winner : Ali Smith

Ali Smith

Awarded a CBE in 2015 for her distinguished and innovative contribution to literature, Ali Smith is a previous winner of the Bailey’s, Costa, Whitbread and Goldsmiths Prizes, amongst others, and has been shortlisted for multiple literary awards including the Man Booker Prize and the Folio Prize. The acclaimed Scottish writer’s numerous novels and short story collections include How to be Both, The Accidental, Hotel World and Free Love and Other Stories. Born in Inverness, Ali Smith now lives in Cambridge. She writes regularly for The Guardian, The Scotsman and The Times Literary Supplement, and was described, by Patrick Flanery, author and professor of creative writing, as being ‘among Virginia Woolf’s most gifted inheritors’ which makes this Charleston prize particularly apt.

2015 Winner : Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam

2014 Winner : Edna O’Brien

Edna O'Brien


2013 Winner : William Trevor

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