Costa Short Story Award

In 2012 we launched the Costa Short Story Award, voted for by the public. The inaugural award was won by former prison manager and now full-time writer, Avril Joy, with her story Millie and Bird. The two runners-up were Chioma Okereke and Guy Le Jeune.

All six 2012 shortlisted stories are available here for you to download and enjoy.

Download and Read Last Year's Stories

This Year's Costa Short Story Award Finalists

Voting for this year's Costa Short Story Award closed on Friday 17th January and the identity of the six shortlisted authors has been revealed. Click here to find out who they are.

The winner and two runners-up have been announced - at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on Tuesday 28th January – and they are:

Winner: Angela Readman for The Keeper of the Jackalopes
Runner-up: Kit de Waal for The Old Man and the Suit
Runner-up: Tony Bagley for The Forgiveness Thing

Read more about the winner and runners-up

You can enjoy all of the six stories by downloading them here:


Download Terms and Conditions

Key Dates



Shortlist Announced

Late November

Download and Vote

December - mid-January

Winner Announced

January 2014

This Year's Costa Short Story Award Finalists

Produced and recorded for the Costa Short Story Award by Spoken Ink




Still Water, BC

By Erin Soros Read by Barbara Barnes

"And it’s my turn. The men nod as I stroll up to shoulder myself into their game, Olaf strapped to my back, legs kicking. I bounce him up and down to the wheezing beat of Whisker’s harmonica. You are my sunshine ..."

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The Forgiveness Thing

By Tony Bagley Read by Sam Dale

"It never not comes up, the forgiveness thing. It isn’t always the first question, but everyone gets round to it at some point. ‘What people want to know is...’ Here it comes now, only seconds after she sat down...."

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The Gun Shearer

By Clare Chandler Read by Jenny Funnell

"Brittle gum tree branches were brushing against the kitchen window making a squeaking noise and Oriel scribbled a note to remind herself to ask someone to cut them back. She turned to take the kettle off the stove ..."

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The Keeper of the Jackalopes

By Angela Readman Read by Nicola Barber

"The best bit is the bit that used to scare her. Once the skin has been removed, the rabbit lies on the table, its bunny suit taken off. It can be anything it wants. Clary strokes the cool fur...."

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The Old Man and The Suit

By Kit de Waal Read by Constantine Gregory

"They sit in the cool of the basement under a low ceiling and two pools of yellow light. They have a stool each and matching eyes. The walls are stacked tight with bolts of wool and satin, mohair and silk ..."

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The Papakh Hat

By Sheila Llewellyn Read by Robert Cohen

"Tanks clatter past at six, heading from the barracks to the town centre. I roll over and try to squeeze another half-hour. A second convoy rattles the window, waking me up for good. The day begins much like any other has for the last few months in Tabriz...."

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Vote Now For Your Favourite

Your Favourite
Still Water, BC- Erin Soros
The Forgiveness Thing- Tony Bagley
The Gun Shearer- Clare Chandler
The Keeper of the Jackalopes- Angela Readman
The Old Man and The Suit- Kit de Waal
The Papakh Hat- Sheila Llewellyn
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