Saboteur Awards 2018: Spotlight on Short Story Collection Shortlist

Over 2,000 people have already voted in the Saboteur Awards! You have until 9th May to make your choice. With this in mind, we aim to showcase each category so you can get to know your shortlist better… First up: the best short story collection shortlist!

Vote here.

Bank Holiday Hurricane by Kelly Creighton (Doire Press)

A woman picks up what is left of her life after her release from prison; a young couple are about to set off for Australia when a leaving party changes everyone’s fate; lifelong friends keep deep secrets that could fracture each other’s lives. Bank Holiday Hurricane (Doire Press, 2017) is a collection about dislocation, disenchantment and second chances, told through linked stories set in and around a Northern Irish town, and further afield.

Why voters think it should win:

Bank Holiday Hurricane is gritty, witty and well observed. The best short story collection I read in 2017.

Kelly’s stories encompass so many different worlds and styles. It feels like a range of different authors at times. Very clever. Kept me turning pages for sure!

Find out more about Kelly Creighton here or follow her at @KellyCreighton

Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross (Peepal Tree Press)

Leone Ross writes magic realism, horror fiction, erotica and literary fiction. She has published two critically praised novels, All The Blood Is Red (ARP/Actes Sud) and Orange Laughter (Anchor/Farrar Straus & Giroux/Picador). Orange Laughter was shortlisted for the UK Orange Prize and named by Wasafiri magazine as one of the most influential British novels of the last 25 years. Ross’s short fiction has been shortlisted for the V.S Pritchett Prize and Salt Publishing’s Scott Prize. She has judged the Manchester Fiction Prize and the Wimbledon Bookfest Short Story Competition. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Roehampton University, and a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Leone Ross’s short story collection, Come Let Us Sing Anyway was published in June 2017 by Peepal Tree Press. Praised by the Guardian as ‘searingly compassionate’, the Times literary Supplement called her a ‘master’ of the form and on Radio 4, ‘extraordinary’. She lives in London with two cats and a large, as-yet-unpublished third novel, about a chef addicted to hallucinogenic moths.

Why voters think it should win:

Stories bursting with the colours and richness of life – to read them is to feel deeply connected with what it means to be human

Pushes boundaries while staying loyal to the form. Cracking collection.

Find out more about Leone Ross here or follow her at @leoneross

Fifteen Minutes by Erinna Mettler (Unbound)

Erinna Mettler is a Brighton-based writer. Her first novel, Starlings, was published in 2011 and was described by one critic as doing for Brighton what The Wire did for Baltimore. She is a founder and co-director of The Brighton Prize for short fiction. Her stories have been published internationally and short-listed for the Manchester Fiction Prize, The Bristol Prize, The Fish Prize and The Writers & Artists Yearbook Award. Her career highlight so far was having a short story about vintage underwear performed by a Game of Thrones actor in the literary tent at Latitude Festival. Erinna’s new short story collection on the theme of fame, Fifteen Minutes, was published by crowd-funding publisher Unbound in 2017.

Why voters think it should win:

Excellent prose, fascinating characters, transports the reader

A thought-provoking and clever collection, with great variety of setting and well-delineated characters.

Find out more about Erinna Mettler here or follow her at @ErinnaMettler

Hings by Chris McQueer (404 Ink)

Chris McQueer is a 26 year old writer and spoken word performer from the east end of Glasgow. His writing style has been described as, ‘Limmy meets Irvine Welsh.’ McQueer’s first collection of short stories, Hings, was published last summer by 404 Ink.

Why voters think it should win:

It is innovative, witty, and shows that Scottish writing is more than Irvine Welsh.

His take on Glasgow is very funny and entertaining. He brings to life a whole new perspective with his writing.

Find out more about Chris McQueer here or follow him at @chrismcqueer

You Will Grow Into Them by Malcolm Devlin (Unsung Stories)

Malcolm Devlin’s stories have appeared in publications including Interzone, Shadows & Tall Trees and LossLit. His collection, You Will Grow Into Them is published by Unsung Stories. It contains ten stories, each a strange sort of coming of age tale. There are ghost stories without any ghosts in them, werewolf stories without any werewolves in them, a city that turns into forest, a barren planet with a peculiar sort of harvest celebration and a suburban street suffering a very personal and rather embarrassing apocalypse.

Why voters think it should win:

These stories tap into a deep and precise vein of weirdness that I love.

It’s simply the finest genre fiction you’ll ever read. Deeply literary, personal, scary, tender, funny and profound. An incredible wit and intelligence we will come to treasure.

Find out more about Malcolm Devlin here, or follow him at @barquing