We have a winner! Abiola Oni, 33, who Lives in Stoke Newington, impressed the judges with 75, a dystopian tale that manages to tug at the heartstrings. Judge Nikesh Shukla said, of Oni’s short story: ‘75 managed to be unexpected and warm and clinical, all at once. It's a difficult thing, to keep control of a short story, especially a speculative fiction one, and the author manages it. The author writes with confidence and manages to keep a lot of plates spinning: the family dynamics, the last party, the sense of loss and resignation, the final cruel end. It stood out because it was a great example of confident genre writing.’

You can read the story here.

Thank you to all who entered. Better start sharpening your pencils for next year…

The Shortlist

By Kavita A. Jindal, 52

Tulip Persimmon’s Head-Wetting

By Kavita A. Jindal, 52
Lives in: London

Kavita is an unrepentant dreamer who writes fiction and poetry.

By Talim Arab, 35

Je Suis

By Talim Arab, 35
Lives in: Old Street

Talim grew up in Australia, is of Indian-Fijian ethnicity, read English and Chinese at University, studied ballet and has taught at an East London secondary school for the last ten years.

By Shaniqua Harris, 23

Scarf

By Shaniqua Harris, 23
Lives in: West London

Shaniqua is studying for a BA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Scarf is her first short story.

By Bolu Babalola, 25

Netflix & Chill

By Bolu Babalola, 25
Lives in: London

Bolu works in television as content developer, is doing a part-time MA degree, and ‘writes tweets that could be perceived as vaguely amusing, far more often that is healthy’ (her words).

By Salena Godden, 43

Blue Cornflowers

By Salena Godden, 43
Lives in: East London

Salena is a full-time poet and author (self-published through Unbound) which is lucky, because she loves travelling, performing and books. Her mother is Jamaican, her father Irish.

By Rommy Collingwood

Ever Since

By Rommy Collingwood
Lives in: Stroud

Rommy is a writer and a poet with a background in the arts which includes working in radio as a DJ.

By Guy Gunaratne, 32

Black Flag

By Guy Gunaratne, 32
Lives in: London

Guy has worked in many different fields; as a filmmaker, journalist and product designer in London, Sweden and Silicon Valley.

By Elly Niland, 62

Market Day

By Elly Niland, 62
Lives in: Surrey

Elly has published poetry in the past, and in her short story writing explores the perspectives of those from other walks of life.

By Kashif Sharma-Patel, 22

Kalanagar

By Kashif Sharma-Patel, 22
Lives in: Brighton

Kashif has just completed a History BA, so is now in something amounting to an 'interregnum'.

By Satinder Chohan, 41

Chet

By Satinder Chohan, 41
Lives in: Middlesex

Satinder is a playwright who finally plucked up courage to begin writing creatively in her 30s, to write stories about under-represented local/global communities like her own, their hidden worlds, a bigger world and their unique voices within it.

By N D Gomes, 34

Birthday Honours

By N D Gomes, 34
Lives in: Manchester

N D Gomes studied at politics Cambridge and then undertook an MA in creative writing at UEA. He supported man city “from when they were useless”.

By Angela Dewan, 33

Auburn ’86

By Angela Dewan, 33
Lives in: London

Angela Dewan is an Indian-Australian journalist and fiction writer living in London. She writes about race and gender issues, as well as class, wealth and power structures.

By Ishita Marwah, 28

A Little History of Love

By Ishita Marwah, 28
Lives in: London

Ishita is a medical PhD student by week, and a writer of fiction by weekend.

By Catherine Mark, 44

Gecko

By Catherine Mark, 44
Lives in: Birmingham

Cathy, of Nigerian heritage, grew up in the Middle East and studied in the West. A teacher by profession, she writes poetry and short stories and is working on her first novel.

By Abiola Oni, 33

75

By Abiola Oni, 33
Lives in: Stoke Newington

Abiola was born in London but grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria. She has loved literature since she was a little girl and wrote a lot of angsty poetry in her teenage years.

By Ashish Ghadiali, 36

The Story of the Dog

By Ashish Ghadiali, 36
Lives in: Hackney

Ashish makes films for a living, have spent two years living in a refugee camp in Palestine and one writing screenplays in Bollywood.

By Dionne Farrell, 24

Finding Bae

By Dionne Farrell, 24
Lives in: Lewisham (South London born and bred)

Dionne is an English Graduate currently working in script development.

By Shaivya Ramani, 19

Otherkin

By Shaivya Ramani, 19
Lives in: Norwich

Shaivya is studying International Relations at UEA, though initially started on the creative writing program with a scholarship.

By Chloe Ewart, 38

Days of Apryl

By Chloe Ewart, 38
Lives in: Bermondsey

Chloe is a mixed heritage writer who believes in the power of kindness, words and good food.

By Joe Wong, 33

The Uncertainty Exhibition

By Joe Wong, 33
Lives in: London

As a writer, Joe is drawn to identities, ambiguities and transitions - spaces between, where boundaries may be broken and redefined - and takes influence from his background in the arts, language and neuroscience.



The Judges

Bim Adewenmi

Bim Adewenmi

Buzzfeed Culture Editor and Journalist

Melissa Cox

Melissa Cox

Waterstones Head of Books

Bernardine Everisto

Bernardine Everisto

Writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London

Nosheen Iqbal

Nosheen Iqbal

Guardian's acting women's editor and G2's features commissioning editor

Anna Kelly

Anna Kelly

4th Estate Editor

Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla

Author

The Guardian
‘We live in a rapidly changing world, one which produces new stories all the time. But it's never been harder to break into the publishing world, and we risk losing the diversity and complexity of those voices. This prize is a small but hugely valuable step in in supporting writers from minority backgrounds, and helping them gain the visibility that their work deserves.’ Tash Aw

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