As promised, here are the stories that very nearly made our shortlist. Please remember (once again!) that there are various judges working on this prize and our final lists will be the result of what resonates with these judges. That’s a small handful individuals with individual perspectives, trying to come to some sort of unanimous and overall decision about work that resonates with them. These stories that were highly commended are strong pieces of fiction that said something interesting but perhaps did not resonate quite so strongly with the readers as those that progressed. We know plenty of cases were work that has been submitted to other prizes and rejected can end up being a winner.
Well done again and thanks to everyone who entered.
A Random Act of Kindness – Robert Bage
Blackbirds and Broccoli – Joanna Bales
Resolutions – Simon Holloway
On this Day – Aaron Wright
The Woman who Shrank in the Wash – Glenda Young
Memories – Sianna Hughes
I Cried a River for You – Shannon Pack