Congratulations to Louis Malloy for winning this year's Short FICTION Prize with his story 'Goldrush'. Judge Gerard Donovan had this to say:
'This accomplished piece about the hunt for invisible wealth beyond reach of all but hope and timing is distinguished at once by the skill with which – on so many levels – the author renders invisibility in the telling itself. Pared down to the hunger of desperate characters, the revelation is that of a robber preying on the seekers of wealth: a timeless journey of search and disappointment. The author allows the story itself to dictate what doesn’t need telling, details that some writers might well be tempted to render for the sake of a perceived need for verisimilitude. The great achievement here lies indeed in how those details are left hidden, as meaningless as they would be to the eyes and ears of bone-weary prospectors. In fact the pace of the story barely keeps one foot in front of the other; yet the reader is content not to want to hurry things along. The alchemy this writer brings to the page transmutes all that is concealed into a brutal gleam in the mind.'
The runners-up were:
'The Kambala Buffaloes' by Leo Madigan
'The End of the World' by Catharine Mee
'When the Hearse Goes by' by Nuala Ní Chonchúir'Punctures' by Madeline Sonik
Louis wins £500 and his story will be published in its own illustrated chapbook in Issue 5, out this autumn.
The longlist can be found below. Thanks to all who entered.