Parracombe Prize 2020 Anthology

We are delighted to unveil the winners of the inaugural Parracombe Prize 2020.

First prize went to
Anil Classen for his story Sento

What the judges said:
‘The exploration of how a small memory from the past and the kindness of a stranger can change a life was mesmerising even in a fourth reading. Delicate writing.’
‘An incredibly moving story that speaks about tradition, duty and loss. Beautifully written.’ 
‘An elegantly drawn study of the process of grief that sidesteps mawkish sentimentality in favour of  core emotion.’

In second place was
Emily Howes for her entry Little Hell

What the judges said:
‘Against the grimy backdrop of a poor iron ore mining and smelting community this story captures shame and disillusion. I felt each movement and nuance. ‘
‘The abandonment of a Welsh community marginalised to a slag heap during the Industrial Revolution underlines this awkward, jarring encounter. The weight of disappointment set against the certainty of a bleak and hopeless future emanates from every line.’
‘A starkly painted portrait of utter despair, which poses the question as to whether you should ever leave and if you can ever return.’

Jointly in third place
Ali Said with Both at Once
Conor Duggan with The Egg and the Skipping Rope

A further 31 stories were long-listed and will be be included in the anthology. These were:
Valerie Thompson – Mabel Mulvaney is Writing a Book
Ed Walsh – On Cortez Street
James Woolf – Mo
Stephanie Percival – Verity and Justine                         
Martin Barker – Matchsticks and Zombies
Christine Breede – Silent Home
Hannah Abigail Peters – Chaperone
Elizabeth Jane Andreoli – The Goddess and the Fire Dancer
Joe Bedford – The Seagull
Sam Szanto – Don’t Refuse Me
Karen Tobias-Green – The Snowman 
Akhil Bansal – Through the Window
Benjamin Peter Taylor  – Cocoa Tea
Jan Halstead – Just Like Morse
Silvia Rucchin – Showgirls                                    
Gerry Webber – Punch Drunk                              
Penelope Anne Mapp – The Friend                                  
Jack Sutherland – Big Truth                                    
Beverley Byrne – Chives are Onions Too                 
Tabitha Bast – There is Life at this Level               
Simon Dawson – On the Road Again                       
Jenny Tunstall – Another Pineapple                        
Emily White – The Skirt                                    
K. A. Bigelow – The Ice Cream Man                      
Sarah Murray – The Welsh Hill Farm                    
Vaughan Edmonds – The Girl Dancing the Tarantella      
Ruth Geldard – What If?                                     
Maureen Cullen – Double Take                               
Jacci Gooding – In Search of Puffins                      
Jan Steer – The Good Man                            
Oliver Barton – Parlez-Moi D’Amour                    

cover of Parracombe Prize anthology

The anthology will be published later in the spring (target date is 4th May, but bear with us if we miss by a few days). An order form will be on this website and the book will be for sale on Amazon, worldwide.

Warm congratulations to all – and commiserations to those who weren’t on the list above. After a rigorous marking procedure and several read-throughs, some tough choices had to be made. We believe our final choices reflect the formidable standard of stories submitted.

We are delighted to say the competition will be run again, with entries welcome via our website from 1st November 2021.