Kaliane Bradley wins V. S. Pritchett Short Story Prize 2022

The author won the ALCS-sponsored award for her short story Doggerland.

The V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize is an annual award for unpublished short stories between 2000 to 4000 words in length. The winner received £1,000 and their entry will be published in Prospect magazine online and the RSL Review. The award was founded by the Royal Society of Literature in 1999, in honour of the literary critic and prolific writer of short stories V.S. Pritchett.

Kaliane Bradley is an Anglo-Cambodian writer and editor based in London. Her short stories have been published in Granta, Catapult, The Willowherb Review, Extra Teeth, Electric Literature and Somesuch Stories, among others. Her essay ‘The Wishing Dance’ appeared in Gifts of Gravity and Light (Hodder & Stoughton, 2021). She was the winner of the Harper’s Bazaar 2022 short story prize.

On accepting the award, she said: “I am so thrilled and overwhelmed to have won the V.S. Pritchett short story prize. Sometimes writing a short story can feel like a silly business – voluntarily deranging yourself for several hours to play with an idea you had until it bursts into bloom or rolls over and dies – so being read as perceptively and generously as I was by the judges, and knowing that something a bit narratively elusive can successfully make space for the reader, is really just such a pleasure.”

The judges for the 2022 prize were Jenn Ashworth, Cynan Jones and Emma Paterson.

What the judges said

Jenn Ashworth: ‘A story that enthralls, shocks, engages and delights – Doggerland plays expertly with genre, conjures this world and other worlds with confident economy, builds delicious suspense, deploys humour with near-perfect precision and, in the hands of a coolly dispassionate yet utterly compelling narrator, edges the reader towards an ending that will both unsettle and satisfy.’

Cynan Jones: There’s a magic trick at play here – a story at once nebulous yet utterly convincing. The narrative is constantly provoking, so the reader is never certain. But pointedly, the writer is absolutely certain – in their intent, the originality of their ambition, and in the technical ability that underpins the risks they take.’

Emma Paterson: ‘A seductive puzzle of a short story. Its clarity of vision, sentence-by-sentence precision, and playful intelligence surprised, outwitted and delighted.’