4thWrite Prize 2021 shortlist

We are absolutely thrilled to unveil the shortlist for the 2021 4thWrite Short Story Prize.

Congratulations to Laura Blake, Amaan Hyder, Inigo Laguda, Gift Nyoni, Sulaxana Hippisley and Nicola Sheppey.

The winner will be announced on 1st September.

Laura Blake – Home Is Not Here 

Laura is a writer and editor based in Birmingham. She is mixed race, with two Jamaican grandfathers and two English grandmothers, which always makes for an interesting conversation about identity. She has an MA in Literary Studies from Aberystwyth University. In 2020, she was a finalist in the George Floyd short story competition and shortlisted for the Leicester Writes competition. 
Home Is Not Here  
When she was seven years old, Birdie Brown left Jamaica with her parents to begin a new life in England. Now, at the age of seventy, she faces being deported back to a country she barely remembers.

Follow her at @LauraJBlake on Twitter.

Amaan Hyder – Postpositions

Amaan is the author of the poetry collection At Hajj (Penned in the Margins, 2017). His poems have appeared in various publications including The Guardian, Poetry Review and Poetry London. He is a Ledbury Poetry Critic 2021 and a doctoral student at Royal Holloway, University of London. 

Postpositions comprises thirty reflections by an unnamed narrator concerning inheritance, queerness and late nineties-early noughties television. 

Follow him at @hyder_amaan on Twitter.

Inigo Laguda – Hopscotch 

Inigo was born in Bedford, raised in Stevenage and currently resides in North London. He graduated in Writing and English literature from Anglia Ruskin University. His poem, Beautiful Tasting Words was a winner in the ‘Edith Sitwell’ Challenge on The Young Poet’s Network. His essays have been published in The MetroNetflix: Bigger PictureWear Your Voice MagazineRacebaitr and Black Youth Project.  

Unstuck in time, A Black boy raised in a homogeneously white commuter-town hurtles between libidinal incidents that have shaped him. 

Follow him at @saveinigo on Twitter and Instagram.

Gift Nyoni – The Ritual Seat of the King 

Gift was designed in Britain and assembled in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. During his first eight years in the UK he lived underground as an undocumented asylum-seeker, seeking refuge in libraries and trying to write, something he aspires to do well. He now lives out in the open in London, and is working on his first novel. He’s interested in identity, trauma, memory, and notions of home.

The Ritual Seat of the King  
The Rhodesian civil war ends and hope abounds in the new Zimbabwe, but when David’s father returns to the family home it soon becomes apparent that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and the young boy’s fascination soon turns into revulsion. 

Follow him at @literary_womble on Instagram.

Sulaxana Hippisley – Cadaver

Sulaxana is an English teacher, writer and single mother. Runner up in the 2019 Bridport Short Story prize, she has been long listed for the 2020 BBC Short Story Award, the Bristol Short Story prize, the 2019 ‘Spread the Word’ Life Writing prize and  the Asian Writer short story competition. She was mentored by Courttia Newland for the 2017 Almasi League and is currently working on her first novel.   

On the eve of a dinner party, a young woman encounters the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil  war.

Nicola Sheppey – Pontianak 

Nicola works in architecture in London, having lived between Malaysia and the UK. Her creative non-fiction has been published in Epoch Press. She writes both short fiction and full-length novels, and recently graduated from Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course. A Malaysian setting inspires her work, and she is drawn to magic realism and mythology in her writing. 
A young woman is placed in postpartum confinement and feels a malevolent presence threatening to invade.  
Follow her at @NicolaSheppey on Twitter and Instagram.

Any questions? Email 4thWritePrize@harpercollins.co.uk and join the conversation on Twitter using #4thWritePrize.

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