2018 BAME Prize Shortlist

We’re thrilled to unveil the shortlist for the 2018 Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize.

Congratulations to Savannah Burney, Jason Deelchand, Kit Fan, Gurnaik Johal, Yiming Ma and Varaidzo!

The winner will be revealed on 12th September at a prize ceremony in London.

Savannah Burney

‘Spam’ follows the unlikely encounter between a cynical and misanthropic B&B owner and a bright young girl, who along with her mother, become unexpected guests in the morning after the Grenfell fire.

Savannah Burney was born in Manchester to an Indian mother and a British father who was in the army. She grew up in a number of different countries, including Hong Kong and Germany, but now considers the North West to be her home – despite recently making the move to London! She graduated in 2016 with a degree in Biomedical Sciences and has worked at the World Health Organisation and in the charity sector. She enjoys writing whenever she can and next month will start a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work.
Find her on Twitter @SavannahBurney.

Jason Deelchand
Something Buried in the Ground

A stench invades the historic village of Xīliú and takes residence. As the villagers begin to die, a teenage girl named Liu Fang decides to investigate.

Jason is a secondary-school teacher based in Bristol. He studied in Bath and Exeter, and has also lived in Bournemouth, Cornwall, and Shanghai. His main interests aside from reading and writing are music and nature. Jason loves coastlines, waterfalls, wolves, whales, and trees – one day soon he would like to plant a tree. His father is Mauritian; his mother is English (with some Scottish ancestry). This makes him mixed-race, apparently.

Kit Fan
City of Culture

Mai, a teenage girl from a seaside northern city, lives with her absent mother and works in her grandmother’s Chinese takeaway after school. In a wake of a family crisis, she struggles to find her voice while participating in her school debate on the EU Referendum.

Kit Fan is a poet and fiction writer.  In 2018, he won a Northern Writers’ Award for Diamond Hill, a novel-in-progress.  In 2017, he was shortlisted for the Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize and TLS Mick Imlah Poetry Prize.

Gurnaik Johal
The Piano

Reggie, a widower, is determined to make something good from grief. He misses listening to his wife’s music so puts her old piano out on the street for anyone to use, and the music that people play starts to bring a community of strangers slightly closer together.

Gurnaik Johal was born in West London and studies English Literature with Creative Writing at The University of Manchester.

Yiming Ma
Swimmer of Yangtze

Set in Cultural Revolution China, ‘Swimmer of Yangtze’ follows the unlikely rise and fall of an armless swimmer born into a nameless village near Wuhan. Narrated by an elder, the story is an unforgiving exploration of how societies create and abandon their heroes.

Yiming Ma is a Chinese-Canadian writer and recent graduate of Stanford University. Previously, he lived in London, where he worked with schools for low-income families in SE Asia and Africa.  His writing has appeared in Ricepaper Magazine and been shortlisted by Glimmer Train and Geist. His story ‘Swimmer of Yangtze’ was shortlisted for the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and 2018 LitMag Virginia Woolf Award. He will join Penguin Random House this fall.

Find Yiming on Instagram @yimingnotwriting.

Bus Stop

Marley stands out, the black sheep in a white area, but her close friendship with cool Lara exposes a worlds of pixies and whispering trees and changeling children, and the town’s local folklore might hold the key for Marley to fit in.

Varaidzo is a writer and editor based in London. Her essays and articles have been published in the GuardianNew Statesman and award-winning essay anthology The Good Immigrant amongst others. She is currently an assistant editor at Wasafiri and is working on her first novel.

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