V. S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

We are currently closed for entries for this Prize, please sign up to our monthly newsletter to be informed of when we are taking submissions for the next round.

This prize was founded by the RSL at the beginning of the new millennium to commemorate the centenary of an author widely regarded as the finest English short-story writer of the 20th century, and to preserve a tradition encompassing Pritchett’s mastery of narrative.

The annual prize of £1,000 goes to the best unpublished short story of the year. The winning entry is also published in Prospect magazine and the RSL Review.

The 2020 Prize

Congratulations Kate Lockwood Jefford wins the £1,000 V. S. Pritchett Short Story Prize 2020 with ‘Picasso’s Face’.

The 2020 judges of the Prize, which is awarded for the year’s best unpublished short story, are Kate ClanchyBarbara Jenkins and Derek Owusu.

Please read the press release for full details.

The RSL is grateful to Prospect for publishing the winning entry online.

The 2020 shortlist:

  • Susan Clegg ‘Dogwood’
  • Charlotte Derrick ‘Christmastime, Paracetamol, and Wine’
  • Ciarán Folan ‘Spell’
  • Ed Hogan ‘A Guide to Household Infestations’
  • Sarah Zimmerman ‘Lexi’

Please read the press release for more information.

The 2020 longlist:

  • Sheila Armstrong ‘Harlow’
  • Terri Armstrong ‘Going Back’
  • Eddie Bruce-Jones ‘The Last Cicadas’
  • David Fisher ‘Grace’
  • Habon Jama ‘The Smell of Rain’
  • Rose McDonagh ‘Nightjar’
  • Conor Montague ‘Distilling’
  • Tope Owolabi ‘Luggage’
  • Olivia Seligman ‘The Gap’
  • Marion Valentine ‘Messages to Chip’
  • Dolores Walshe ‘This Hamlet’

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 15 December.

We are grateful to to Prospect Magazine for publishing the winning entry online.

If you have any media enquiries, please contact Annette Brook, Communications Manager: [email protected].

For questions about awards and prizes, please contact Martha Stenhouse, General Manager, [email protected].


Past recipients (click the links to read the story on Prospect Magazine)

2019 Ursula Brunetti Beetleboy
2018 Emily Ruth Ford Please Be Good to Me
2017 Emily Ruth Ford The Hikers
2016 Fiona Marshall The Street of Baths
2015 Jonathan Tel The Seduction of a Provincial  Accountant
2014 Alice Jolly Ray the Rottweiler
2013 Peter Adamson Sahel
2012 Martina Devlin Singing Dumb
2011 Carys Davies The Redemption of Galen Pike
2010 Michael Newton The Premises
2009 Kate Clanchy The Not-Dead and the Saved
2008 Cynthia Rogerson ‘A Dangerous Place’
2007 Gabriela Blandy ‘The Buck’
2006 Henry Peplow ‘Master Sunny’
2005 Jonathan Haylett ‘Bendera Beach’
2004 Ed Siegle ‘Nine Lives, One Life’
2003 Cherise Saywell ‘Beef Queen’
2001 Simon Korner ‘Falling’
2000 Emma Barklamb ‘No and Yes’
1999 John Arden ‘The Stealing Steps’