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 three 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. The judges may also select an additional number (up to six) of Highly Commended authors each year. Those authors are notified and their details released once voting has closed.

The 2017 Costa Short Story Award

This year's Short Story Award is open for entry from Monday 3rd July to Friday 4th August. Scroll down the page to enter.

You can read the Terms and Conditions here

Click here to read more about this year's judges

Click here to read more about last year's winner and two runners-up

All three stories are available to download and read lower down this page.

Previous Winners

Winner: Jess Kidd for Dirty Little Fishes
Second: Billy O'Callaghan for Fallen
Third: Rob Ewing for The Persistence of Memory

Winner: Danny Murphy for Rogey
Second: Erin Soros for The Boatman
Third: Annalisa Crawford for Watching the Storms Roll In

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 2015 Stories
Download and Read the 2015 Stories
Click here to read more about the 2015 Authors

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

2017 Short Story Award Entry Form

The 2017 entry form will be available from 3rd July to 4th August.

Submit Your Entry

Key Dates



Shortlist Announced

Late November

Download and Vote


Winner Announced

End January

2016 Costa Short Story Award Finalists

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




Dirty Little Fishes

By Jess Kidd Read by Siobhán O'Kelly

"She must be a good friend because on Mammy's day off we catch two buses and walk up a billion stairs to visit her. It's an estate like ours, only with less swears written on it ...""

Download & Read Download & Listen

The Boatman

By Billy O’Callaghan Read by Stephen Darcy

"Margaret's brother arrives a little after four, coming up the yard in that heavy way of his, still with sleep on him and hauling two shovels and a pickaxe ..."

Download & Read Download & Listen

The Persistence of Memory

By Rob Ewing Read by Jenny Funnell

"A comet strikes the moon on our way to the pantomime, and nobody reacts. My husband Ben goes on driving in his clunk-click, hard-by-the-rules way; our two children remain sprawled on the back seat ..."

Download & Read Download & Listen

Vote Now For Your Favourite

Your Favourite
Dirty Little Fishes- Jess Kidd
The Boatman- Billy O’Callaghan
The Persistence of Memory- Rob Ewing
First Name
Last Name
Only 1 vote per email address. Please note that your vote is not confirmed until you've responded to the confirmation email which is sent to you after you submit your vote. If you don't see it, please check your spam folder.