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UCL Publishers' Prize inaugural winners announced

15 July 2014

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Students from UCL's Publishing MA programme have this week announced the winners of the inaugural UCL Publishers' Prize, an award launched earlier this year with the aim of discovering a new generation of literary talent among the current student body.

After drawing up a shortlist of just 20 stories from a submissions pile of over 120, the Publishing students were advised on the final decision by three guest judges from the publishing industry. Competition was fierce for the first, second and third place spots, with the winners due to receive £300, £200 and £100 respectively. PhD scholars battled undergraduate students, flash fiction took on longer narrative and a variety of different genres vied for top place.

In the end, the winner was MA student Gwyneth Kelly for MoodBeam SunSubstitute, a speculative story about a sun-replacement salesman searching for authenticity in a world of artificial substitutions. Literary agent Lizzy Kremer called the tale "as finely wrought and fully realised as any short story by a professional writer".

Second place went to Archaeology undergraduate Lucy Smith for Bud. Rose. Thorn., a fairytale-esque piece about a newspaper reporter following a story of missing children to its chilling conclusion. Finally, third place was awarded to MA student Clematis Delany for The Tale of Lena-Jane, which opens with the narrator's father dying... and then dying again and again. Two further stories were highly commended: a second offering from Gwyneth Kelly entitled Walker of Dogs, and PhD student Kristen Perrin's The Rock Monster.

The shortlisted stories will be published in an anthology which will be launched at an event in London at the end of September, where the winners will read from their pieces. Clays will print the anthology over the summer and the production will be managed by the Publishing MA students.

Supported by the recently relaunched UCL Press, the UCL Department of Information Studies and UCL's Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies (JFIGS), the Prize will be a continuing legacy and will be passed down to the next crop of Publishing MA students.

The full shortlist of stories to be published in the anthology is as follows:

  • 'The Fourth Floor' by Nicholas Baines
  • 'The Boys I Mean Are Not Refined' by Kathleen Bryson
  • 'The Tale of Lena-Jane' by Clematis Delany
  • 'After Hours' by Alice Dunn
  • 'A Run' by Oskar Gordon
  • 'The Room' by Elizabeth Harvey
  • 'The Party' by Callie Hitchcock
  • 'Unseasonable Snowflakes' by Naomi Ishiguro
  • 'Untitled 1' by Bruno Kaapa
  • 'Moon Beam Sun Substitute' by Gwyneth Kelly
  • 'Walker of Dogs' by Gwyneth Kelly
  • 'Demand and Supply' by Yohann Koshy
  • 'Anne-En' by Heather Lee
  • 'Apples' by Anna Opara
  • 'The Rock Monster' by Kristen Perrin
  • 'Bud. Rose. Thorn.' by Lucy Smith
  • 'West Country Funeral Honours' by Luzia Troebinger
  • 'At The Other End' by Jonathan Tsang
  • 'E' by Sydney Vickars
  • 'Back Home for Christmas' by Jeremy Yang

Further Information

For more information on the prize: