Lewes writer in the mix for prestigious short story prize

tony bagley
tony bagley

A Lewes-based writer is on the shortlist for the 2013 Costa Short Story Award.

He is Tony Bagley, author of The Forgiveness Thing, who has already received many plaudits for his writing.

He has worked as a journalist, freelance copy editor and script reader and editor for Central Television.

His writing has won him many awards including the Giles Cooper Award, a New London Radio Playwrights Award and he was the Grand Prix winner of the PAWS Drama Award (1999).

Tony has written many plays for radio and his comedy series writing includes The Older Woman, starring Martin Clunes and Zoe Wanamaker, and Married with Hugh Bonneville and Josie Lawrence, both broadcast on Radio 4.

He also penned a black comedy for television, The Last Word, which was broadcast on BBC2 in 1996.

His radio scripts are characterised by surreal concepts, bizarre leaps of logic, dark or ironic fantasy sequences, and literate internal monologues.

Tony joins five other finalists shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Short Story Award. Remarkably, given that the competition was judged anonymously – that is, without the identities of the authors being known – and with more than 1,400 entries received this year, it can be revealed that two of this year’s final six writers were also shortlisted last year.

The award – run in association with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system – is open to both published and unpublished writers, for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over and written in English.

The shortlist was selected by a panel of judges – Richard Beard, Fanny Blake, Victoria Hislop and Simon Trewin – and then made available on the Costa Book Awards website for the public to download and read, and then vote for their favourite.

Voting has now closed and Costa this week revealed the names of the six authors shortlisted for the honour, four of them published and two of them currently unpublished. Between them, they have been shortlisted for many other short story competitions, including the BBC National.

The others on the shortlist are Clare Chandler, Sheila Llewellyn, Angela Readman, Erin Soros and Kit de Waal.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Tuesday (January 28).