Saboteur Awards 2019: Shortlists

The results are out! 

After over 4,000 people cast their nominations, we now have our shortlists!

The four most nominated works in each category have made the shortlist (please note: Best Reviewer of Literature and Best Spoken Word Show have five nominees due to a tie in votes. It was decided that it was only fair to let additional entries in, rather than choose between two equally valued nominees.)

For 2019, due to the influx of new editors at Sabotage Reviews, we are suspending the editor’s choice category, with a mind to bring it back in 2020.

Note to those shortlisted: Charley has tried to get in touch with everyone shortlisted but she hasn’t heard back from everyone just yet. If you are shortlisted and hearing about it for the first time here, please drop an email to [email protected] for a chat with Charley about the awards.

Voting is now open until 12th May at midnight.

The results will be announced at the end of our festival on 18th May at Fazeley Studios (Birmingham). You can book tickets here, and view the programme here.

Cast your votes here.

Inspired by previous years, we’ve included a Special Mention To for each category. Those listed have only just missed out on being shortlisted, so if you’re looking for more literature to explore these are also some recommended choices.

Best Short Story Collection Shortlist 

HWFG by Chris McQueer (404 Ink)
Finding a Way by Diane Simmons (Ad Hoc Fiction)
The Wooden Hill by Jamie Guiney (Epoque Press)
Table Manners: And Other Stories by Susmita Bhattacharya (Dahlia Publishing)

Special mention to:

The Cartography of Others by Catherine McNamara (Unbound)
Business As Usual by Gaynor Jones (Ellipsis Zine)
Separated from the Sea by Amanda Huggins (Retreat West Books)
Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine (The Stinging Fly)
This Is (Not About) David Bowie by F. J. Morris (Retreat West Books)

Best Spoken Word Performer Shortlist

Scarlett Ward
Luke Wright
Jamie Thrasivoulou
Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin

Special mention to:

Jess Green
Sadie Davidson
Imogen Stirling
Susan Evans
Chris Stewart

Best Magazine Shortlist

Here Comes Everyone
Riggwelter Press

Special mention to:

Flashback Fiction
Ellipsis Zine
404 Ink

Best Literary Festival Shortlist

Verve Poetry Festival
Asian Writer Festival
Flash Fiction Festival
Leeds Lit Festival

Special mention to:

Hay Festival
Belfast Book Festival

Best Novella Shortlist

An Otley Run by Joe Williams (Half Moon Books)
Amphibian by Christina Neuwirth (Speculative Books)
Three Sisters of Stone by Stephanie Hutton (Ellipsis Zine)
Three Men on the Edge by Michael Loveday (V. Press)

Special mention to:

Native by Abdul Ahad Patel (Indepdently published)
The Plankton Collector by Cath Barton (New Welsh Rarebyte)
Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn (Fairlight Books)
On Suicide Bridge by Tom Dixon (Stairwell Books)
The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)

Best Poetry Pamphlet Shortlist

After Engine Trouble by Luke Wright (Rough Trade)
How to Wear Grunge by Ruth Stacey (Knives Forks and Spoons)
Polygon New Poets by Iona Lee (Polygon)
Bella by Nellie Cole (Offa Press)

Special mention to:

Microwave Nouveau by Liam Bates (Independently published)
Circling the Sun by Gaynor Kane (The Hedgehog Press)
Pessimism is for Lightweights by Salena Godden (Rough Trade)
That Which Can Be Heard by Shruti Chauhan (Burning Eye Books)

Best Spoken Word Regular Night Shortlist

Word Wise, Derby
Punk in Drublic, Manchester
Flash Fiction Armagh, Armagh
Raise the Bar, Bristol

Special mention to:

Tongue Punch, Margate
Find the right words, Leicester
Testify, Chester
Speak, Manchester
Howl, Birmingham

Best Spoken Word Show Shortlist

Poet Laureate by Luke Wright
Don’t Bother by Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin
#Hypocrisy by Imogen Stirling
Earth to Alice by Alice McCullough
The Wonder Tales by Jane Talbot

Special mention to:

A Self Help Guide to Being in Love with Jeremy Corbyn by Jess Green
Two Little Ducks by Matt Abbott
The Space Gecko Project by Stuart Kenny, Grant Robertson, and Lewis Gillies
Everything Wrong With You is Beautiful by Tina Sederholm
Umbrella Man by Colin Bramwell

Most Innovative Publisher Shortlist

Verve Poetry Press
Whiskey & Beards
Linen Press
Retreat West Books

Special mention to:

Fly on the Wall
Emma Press
404 Ink
Guillemot Press
Speculative Books

Best Reviewer of Literature Shortlist

Dave Coates
Emma Lee
Isabelle Kenyon
Maria Taylor
Jade Cuttle

Special mention to:

Sandeep Parmar
Isabel Costello
Maria Sledmere
Daniel Carpenter
Colin Herd

Best Collaborative Work Shortlist

Faces of Change by Women Aloud NI
Man Up by Restoke
Dino and the Diamonds by Dino Mahoney, Steve Halliwell and Clare Halliwell
Kevin Bateman Presents (series) by Kevin Bateman

Special mention to:

The Book of Hours by Lucy English, Helen Dewberry and Sarah Tremlett
The Space Gecko Project by Stuart Kenny, Grant Robertson, and Lewis Gillies
Playground by Second City Poets
McStape by Stephen Watt

Best Anthology Shortlist

Eighty Four, edited by Helen Calcutt (Verve Poetry Press)
May We Borrow Your Country, The Whole Kahani (Linen Press)
High Spirits: A round of drinking stories, edited by Karen Stevens and Jonathan Taylor (Valley Press)
The Dizziness of Freedom, edited by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall (Bad Betty Press)

Special mention to:

We Were Always Here – A queer words anthology, edited by Ryan Vance and Michael Lee Richardson (404 Ink)
Adverbially Challenged: Volume 4 edited by Christopher Fielden and Mike Scott Thomson (Independently published)
Persona Non Grata edited by Isabelle Kenyon (Fly on the Wall Poetry)
Nothing Is As It Was edited by Amanda Saint and Gillian Walker (Retreat West Books)
Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road, Bath Flash Fiction Volume 3 (Ad Hoc Fiction)

The amount of votes that shaped these shortlists was so impressive, and we’re delighted that so many people have been involved in the Saboteur Awards 2019 to date. We’d love to keep those votes rolling so please do pop over to the shortlist voting form (available here) and cast your votes one last time. The beauty of this entire process is that readers, listeners, and viewers can be so involved, so we look forward to seeing your votes a second time around, and we can’t wait to see you all at the awards.

For questions and queries about the shortlists, or anything relating to Saboteur Awards 2019, please email Charley at [email protected].