Best British Short Stories 2019

Best British Short Stories 2019

3.4 (73 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.4 (73 ratings by Goodreads)

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The nation's favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its ninth year.

Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover - or more accurately, by its title. This new series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere. The editor's brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and web sites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume.

Featuring stories by: Julia Armfield, Elizabeth Baines, Naomi Booth, Kieran Devaney, Vicky Grut, Nigel Humphreys, Sally Jubb, Lucie McKnight Hardy, Robert Mason, Ann Quin, Sam Thompson, Melissa Wan and Ren Watson.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 19mm | 260g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • No
  • 178463185X
  • 9781784631857
  • 533,859

About Nicholas Royle

Nicholas Royle has published four collections of short fiction: Mortality (Serpent's Tail), Ornithology (Confingo Publishing), The Dummy & Other Uncanny Stories (Swan River Press) and London Gothic (Confingo Publishing). He is also the author of seven novels, most recently First Novel (Vintage), and a collaboration with artist David Gledhill, In Camera (Negative Press London). He has edited more than two dozen anthologies, including eleven earlier volumes of Best British Short Stories. He runs Nightjar Press, which publishes original short stories as signed, limited-edition chapbooks. His most recent book is White Spines: Confessions of a Book Collector (Salt Publishing) and forthcoming is another short story collection, Manchester Uncanny (Confingo Publishing).

JULIA ARMFIELD is a fiction writer with a Master's in Victorian Art and Literature from Royal Holloway University. She lives and works in London. Her work has been published in Granta, Lighthouse, Analog Magazine, Neon Magazine and Best British Short Stories 2019. She was longlisted for the Deborah Rogers Prize 2018 and was the winner of the White Review Short Story Prize 2018. In 2019, she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award. Her debut collection, salt slow, was published by Picador in May 2019, and by Flatiron in the US. salt slow was longlisted for the Polari Prize 2020 and the Edge Hill Prize 2020 and was shortlisted for the London Magazine Prize for Debut Fiction 2020. Her story Longshore Drift won a Pushcart Prize in 2020. Her debut novel, Our Wives Under the Sea, will be published in 2022 by Picador and Flatiron.

Elizabeth Baines is the author of two short story collections and three novels (all available from Salt), and has written prize-winning drama for BBC Radio 4. In the past, Elizabeth has written, performed and produced plays for fringe theatre, has worked as a secondary-school teacher and has taught Creative Writing at Manchester University and the Bolton Institute. She was born in South Wales and now lives in Manchester where she brought up her two sons.

Naomi Booth was born and raised in West Yorkshire. Her novella, The Lost Art of Sinking (Penned in the Margins), was selected for New Writing North's Read Regional campaign 2017 and won the Saboteur Award for Best Novella. Her debut novel, Sealed (Dead Ink Books), is a work of eco-horror. It was short-listed for the Not the Booker Award 2018 and Naomi was named a Fresh Voice: Fifty Writers to Read Now by the Guardian. 'Cluster' was long-listed for the Sunday Times Short Story Award 2018 and the Galley Beggar Short Story Prize 2018. Her new novel, Exit Management, will be published by Dead Ink Books in 2020. She lives in York and lectures on Creative Writing and Literature.

Ruby Cowling was born in Bradford and lives in London. Her short fiction has won awards including The White Review Short Story Prize and the London Short Story Prize, and has been short-listed in competitions with Glimmer Train, Aesthetica, Short Fiction and Wasafiri. Publication credits include Lighthouse, The Lonely Crowd, the Galley Beggar Press Singles Club and numerous print anthologies. Her collection This Paradise was published by Boiler House Press in 2019.

Kieran Devaney was born in Birmingham in 1983. He has worked as a library assistant and an academic support worker. He writes and a fake celebrity twitter account. He is writing his second novel, about a dog of infinite size, in Brighton, where he currently lives.

Vicky Grut's short stories have appeared in new writing anthologies published by Picador, Granta, Duckworths, Serpent's Tail and Bloomsbury. Her non-fiction essay 'Into the Valley' was mentioned in Best American Essays, 2013. Her short story collection, Live Show, Drink Included, was published by Holland Park Press in 2018. She is currently working on a creative non-fiction book that follows her Swedish grandmother from Paris and Stockholm in the 1920s, to Bangkok in the 1930s and Stalin's Moscow in the winter of 1940.

Nigel Humphreys is an Anglo-Welsh poet living in Aberystwyth. Having worked as a retailer, a computer programmer and a postmaster, he retired in 2000. He is the author of four collections of poetry, among them The Hawk's Mewl and The Love Song of Daphnis and Chloe, with a fifth to be published in 2019. Also forthcoming, from Zagava, is a collection of ghost stories. He is a member of the Welsh Academy and Literature Wales.

Sally Jubb received the Andrea Badenoch Award (Northern Writers' Awards) in 2015, for a selection of short stories. Since then, her work has appeared in various anthologies, including the Bristol Short Story Prize and Bath Flash Fiction as well as Brittle Star and The London Magazine. She won the Colm Toibin Short Story Prize in 2017, and Brittle Star Short Story Award in 2018. She is currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, London. She wishes to thank New Writing North.

John Lanchester is the author of five novels, most recently The Wall, and three works of non-fiction.

Sophie Mackintosh was born in South Wales in 1988, and is currently based in London. Her fiction, essays and poetry have been published by Granta, White Review, New York Times and Stinging Fly, among others. Her debut novel, The Water Cure, was nominated for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, and her second novel Blue Ticket was published in 2020. Her third novel, Cursed Bread, is forthcoming in 2023.

Lucie McKnight Hardy grew up in West Wales and is a Welsh speaker. Her work has featured or is forthcoming in various places online and in print, including The Lonely Crowd, The Shadow Booth, The Ghastling, and as a limited edition chapbook from Nightjar Press. Her debut novel, Water Shall Refuse Them, was short-listed for the Mslexia Novel Competition 2017, long-listed for the Caledonia Novel Award 2018 and is published by Dead Ink Books.

Paul McQuade is an award-winning writer and translator from Glasgow. His work was shortlisted for the 2015 White Review Prize, the 2015 Bridport Prize, and has been included in Best of British Fantasy 2018 (NewCon Publishing) and Best British Short Stories 2019 (Salt). He was the recipient of the 2014 Sceptre Prize for New Writing, the 2015 Masters Review Short Story Award, and the 2017 Austrian Cultural Forum Writing Prize. He is the co-author (with Kirsty Logan) of Hometown Tales: Glasgow.

Vesna Main was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She studied comparative literature before obtaining a doctorate from the Shakespeare Institute in Birmingham. She has worked as a journalist, lecturer and teacher. Her previous work includes A Woman with No Clothes On (Delancey Press, 2008) and a collection of short stories, Temptation: A User's Guide (Salt 2018). Her stories have appeared in numerous journals, including Persimmon Tree, The Literateur and Storgy. One was selected for the Best British Short Stories 2017 (Salt, 2017). Her autofiction, Only A Lodger...And Hardly That, will be brought out by Seagull Books in 2019.

Robert Mason, formerly an illustrator, started writing in 2010. Other People's Dogs (Caseroom) was published in 2013, and Reflex Fiction have published his work online and in print. He has been long- or short-listed for the Fish and Galley Beggar short story prizes, the Manchester Fiction Prize, and the Observer/Anthony Burgess Arts Journalism Prize. Currently he is writing a novel set in Kent at the end of the hippy era, Grim Down South, and a biography of his body, Wound Man.

Ann Quin was a British writer born in Brighton in 1936. Prior to her death in 1973, she published four novels: Berg (1964), Three (1966), Passages (1969) and Tripticks (1972). During her writing career she lived between Brighton, London and the US. She was prominent among a group of British experimental writers of the 1960s, which also included BS Johnson and Christine Brooke-Rose.

Stephen Sharp is a 61-year-old writer who has suffered from schizophrenia for over 30 years. His work has appeared in Ambit. His last job was as a volunteer for Oxfam.

Sam Thompson is the author of the novels Communion Town and Jott. He was born in London and now lives in Belfast. His website is

Melissa Wan was born 1991 and moved to the UK at the age of eight. She went on to study sociology and urban theory in Manchester, where she now lives. She began writing for the stage but turned to prose after reading Walter Benjamin. She was awarded the inaugural crowdfunded BAME Writers' Scholarship to study Creative Writing at UEA, where she is currently working on her first collection of stories.

Ren Watson is a scientist and writer. Her work has appeared in various places in print and online, including Tears in the Fence, Brittle Star, The Fiction Desk and Under the Radar. Short-listed in the Brighton Prize in 2017, she lives in Manchester.

Adam Welch is a writer and editor based in south-east London, currently working in the fashion industry. His fiction has been published in Ambit and long-listed for the London Short Story Prize 2018. He is a 2019-20 Jerwood/Arvon Mentee. He has a website at
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Rating details

3.4 out of 5 stars
- 73 ratings
5 14% (10)
4 36% (26)
3 33% (24)
2 12% (9)
1 5% (4)
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