The BAME Short Story Competition from The Guardian/Fourth Estate was announced back in April 2018 and six finalists have now been announced.
The competition was created to help promote the work of British Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers who have been vastly underrepresented in the publishing world.
The winner will receive a chance to win £1,000, an exclusive one‑day publishing workshop and a taste of online publication.
The six finalists for this year’s competition have been announced- with stories about pixies and changeling children, Grenfell Tower, grief and music, and more.
The overall winner will be announced on the 12th of September.
Clockwise from top left – Savannah Burney, Jason Deelchand, Yiming Ma, Varaidzo, Kit Fan and Gurnaik Johal
Here’s what the judges had to say about the six lucky finalists:
“A moving, tender story about grief, loneliness and community, The Piano explores how people’s lives are interconnected and intertwined. Written with beautiful control, it’s told through a chain of different characters’ perspectives and displays enormous imagination, empathy and talent.”
Anna Kelly on The Piano by Gurnaik Johal
“An impressively controlled and deeply melancholy story of an isolated rural community who look on in bemusement as one of their number is snatched from their midst to become an international sporting hero in an event that is beyond their comprehension.”
Claire Armitstead on Swimmer of the Yangtze by Yiming Ma
“An intriguing and imaginative portrait of a friendship between two girls on the brink of adulthood and an exploration of identity, sexuality and gender. The collision of reality and folklore delivers an unexpected and thought-provoking story from a striking and contemporary new voice.”
Elise Dillsworth on Bus Stop by Varaidzo
“City of Culture is a fantastic story – so poignant, visceral and beautifully crafted that it has no choice but to makes you remember what it means to lose someone close to you. To lose the power to speak, to not be able to find the words to articulate yourself, at a time when so much is required of you. Fan expertly writes in the voice of a teenage girl, and I look forward to his further writings.”
Alex Reads on City of Culture by Kit Fan
“Something Buried in the Ground is a beautiful, evocative piece of writing that combines the story of an environmental disaster with folklore and history. I loved the sense of place, and the way it evoked strong emotional reactions. Deelchand is a writer to watch.”
Sarah Shaffi on Something Buried in the Ground by Jason Deelchand
“Spam is a funny, sparky story about a little girl in need and a stubborn and prejudiced man so stuck in his ways that he can’t see the needs of others around him, even in an extreme situation. Burney imagines her characters brilliantly and her story stood out for its humour and warmth.”
Anna Kelly on Spam by Savannah Burney