Saba Sams has been named winner of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2022 for her debut collection, Send Nudes.
The prestigious prize, now in its 16th year, is the only national literary award to recognise excellence in a published, single-authored short story collection.
Saba said: “When I was trying to get a book deal for a short story collection, everyone told me short stories don’t sell.
“I feel really quite lucky to have written this at a time when short stories are having a resurgence.
“The rest of the shortlist was amazing and people seem to be eating up short stories.
“It’s about being at the right moment in time when your stories can say something about what’s happening in the world right now.
“I’m completely blown away to win this award.
“People think of short stories as the beginning of your career because you’re learning but actually, I think when you look at the previous Edge Hill prize winners, they still write incredible short stories.
“I think that’s amazing and I really hope to follow that trajectory.”
The award comes on the heels of winning last year’s BBC national short story award for Blue4eva, taken from Send Nudes.
Saba, a fiction writer based in London, has seen her stories appear in publications including The Stinging Fly and The Tangerine.
Prize organiser Billy Cowan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, said: Saba’s collection is thematically cohesive and sensitively written. With humour and pathos it gives us glimpses into what it’s like for young women navigating this complex early 21st century world.
“For such a young writer, the voice is assured and the tone pitch-perfect. It also includes one of the best, most moving, Covid stories I have read so far.”
Wendy Erskine scooped the £1,000 Readers’ Choice Award for His Mother, while Edge Hill MA Creative Writing student John Brady was crowned winner for the best short story submitted by a student.
The unique Edge Hill Prize, founded in 2006, is the only annually-presented award for a published, single-authored collection of short stories in the UK and Ireland, and it has attracted entries from the best new and established writers every year since.
The judges of the 2022 prize were 2021 winner Kevin Barry, literary development agent Arzu Tahsin and Sarah Schofield, writer and lecturer at Edge Hill University.
The Edge Hill Short Story Prize was founded in 2006 by the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction, Ailsa Cox, to highlight the intricate artisanship of short story writing and acknowledge the wealth of published collections available.
Edge Hill has a long-established track record in Creative Writing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and the degrees on offer promise a challenging and innovative programme to stretch abilities and encourage independence.
For more information about studying Creative Writing at Edge Hill, visit our subject page.
To discover more about our courses, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.