Published: 20 May 2009 at 15:17
Anglia Ruskin University social work lecturer is shortlisted for short story prize
An Anglia Ruskin University social work lecturer's short story collection has been shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story, the UK's only national award for single-author short story collections, launched three years ago by Edge Hill University.
Chris Beckett, who also teaches on Anglia Ruskin University’s creative writing courses, was nominated for his collection of science fiction stories The Turing Test, published in 2008 by Elastic Press. His book is on a short list of five alongside books by Ali Smith, Anne Enright, Shena Mackay and Gerald Donovan. The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony at Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool on July 4th.
Ailsa Cox, from Edge Hill University's Department of English and History, comments,
The 14 stories that make up The Turing Test feature, among other things, robots, alien planets, genetic manipulation and virtual reality, but their centre focuses on individuals rather than technology, and they deal with love and loneliness, authenticity and illusion, and what it really means to be human.
Speaking about the nomination, Chris who is from Cambridge, said:
Chris Beckett's first story was published in Interzone in 1990, and his stories have since appeared in Britain, the US and Russia. His novel The Holy Machine was published in 2004 by Wildside Press and his second novel, Marcher by Leisure Books, in 2008. He also writes books on social work.
This year's judges include James Walton, journalist and chair of BBC Radio 4's The Write Stuff; Claire Keegan, last year's winner of the Prize and Mark Flynn, Vice Chancellor of Edge Hill University.
The winning author will be presented with the £5,000 prize at the Bluecoat, Liverpool on 4 July.
The second prize winner and the readers' prize will also receive £1,000 each. The readers' prize is judged primarily by Get into Reading, an organisation that gives people who might not normally think of joining a reading group a chance to enjoy stories and poems together.