Costa Short Story Award

In 2012 we launched the Costa Short Story Award, given to a single story and not voted for against the other categories. The public votes for the winner from six shortlisted stories selected by our five judges and published on this website. All shortlisted stories are available on this page to download and either listen to or read.

Congratulations to last year’s winners and two runners-up – Zoe Gilbert, Paula Cunningham and Joanne Meek.

Click here to read more about them.

All six shortlisted stories from last year are available lower down this page to download and either listen to or read.

This Year's Costa Short Story Award

We're delighted to reveal this year's six shortlisted six stories. Now it's up to you, the public, to select the winner.

Scroll down the page where you can download all the stories either together or individually, and then vote for your favourite. Voting closes on Wednesday 13th January 2016.

Click here to read more about this year's judges.

You can read the Terms and Conditions here.

Previous Winners

Winner: Zoe Gilbert for Fishskin, Hareskin
Second: Paula Cunningham for The Matchboy
Third: Joanne Meek for Jellyfish

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

Winner: Avril Joy for Millie and Bird
Second: Chioma Okereke for Trompette de la Mort
Third: Guy Le Jeune for Small Town Removal

All shortlisted stories are available here for you to download and enjoy:

Download and Listen to the 2014 Stories
Download and Read the 2014 Stories
Click here to read more about the 2014 Authors

Download and Listen to the 2013 Stories
Download and Read the 2013 Stories
Click here to read more about the 2013 Authors

Download and Listen to the 2012 Stories
Download and Read the 2012 Stories
Click here to read more about the 2012 Authors

Key Dates


July 2015

Shortlist Announced

Late November 2015

Download and Vote

December 2015 to mid-January 2016

Winner Announced

26th January 2016

2015 Costa Short Story Award Finalists

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





By   Read by Barbara Barnes

"I haven't heard yet which arm Simple lost. As soon as I glimpse him sitting in the centre of the logging camp, perched in a chair on the wooden sidewalk, I see that his right is gone ..."

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Gerardo Dreams of Chillies

By   Read by Nicolas Colicos

"Gerardo watched the smoke from his cigarette tumble upwards as beside him Alejandro drove the truck, intent on eating up the remaining two hundred and fifty kilometres to Puebla ..."

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By   Read by Sam Dale

"Lately I've been thinking a lot about Rogey. I first met him when he was just fourteen. I'd volunteered at a youth club in Falkirk in those long ago days before there was training, screening or anything much other than a naive belief that volunteering at a youth club was a good thing to do..."

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The Night Office

By   Read by Kate Dyson

"Her quill scrapes in darkness. It cuts me, the sound of it, gouging paper. Scritch-scratch. It is so dark I cannot see her, but I know where she is, hunched over the desk in the corner, under the tiny window in the absence of moon ..."

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To William Burroughs, from His Wife

By   Read by Stephanie Ellyne

"Do you remember Texas? You were nobody then. I wore loose dresses, I was carrying your child. This was 1947. Just before Christmas I'd landed in Bellevue Psycho Ward, my brain crackling and spooked with Benzedrine, but you came to New York, and you sprang me ..."

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Watching the Storms Roll In

By   Read by Jenny Funnell

"We sit on the beach, you and I, side by side. I've taken off my shoes and burrowed my feet into the sand. We watch the storm coming in, the bubbling black clouds and the faint growl of thunder ..."

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Vote Now For Your Favourite

Your Favourite
Gerardo Dreams of Chillies-  
The Night Office-  
To William Burroughs, from His Wife-  
Watching the Storms Roll In-  
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