Prize Testimonials

  • Desperate Literature bookshop are one of the good ones. They’ve supported our weirdness for a long time now, their short-fiction prize was cool last year and looks even cooler this year with a whole range of ace looking stuff for the winner and we think it would be absurd of you not to submit an entry. Let’s face it, it looks worth taking a chance on it just to gain a runner-up spot or, given what’s on offer for shortlisted writers, just to be shortlisted. It’s the all-round cool thing. Quick, write something and submit.”

    Vikki and Rich, Dostoyevsky Wannabe 

  • Being shortlisted for the Desperate Literature competition was the highlight of my year. I got to read in Paris and be published in the pamphlet and in a rather lush 3AM site. I met loads of people who took an interest in my story. It was such a boost.”

    Gordon Collins, runner-up of the 2018 Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize


  • For agents, it’s a pleasure when organisers make the effort to get their prizewinning writers’ work in front of you – particularly when it’s worth reading! It’s heartening to see places like Desperate Literature putting their weight behind the writers they select.”

    Claire Anderson-Wheeler, literary agent at Regal Hoffmann & Associates

  • The Desperate Literature Prize has to be be unique in its internationalism and focus on new, experimental writing. It was April 1st when I received the call telling me the judges had chosen my story ‘Frailings’ as the winner, which added considerably to the sense of disbelief. I am honoured to have been among such a strong longlist.

    There are very few opportunities of this kind, particularly for writing that is ‘outside the mainstream’ – whatever that really means. I can’t think of a short story prize which offers such a cocktail of artistic and transformative opportunities. Since winning I’ve been invited to give readings in Paris and Madrid and consulted with a major literary agency in the US; I was also a resident writer at Civitella Ranieria Foundation, in a castle in Italy, where I stayed amongst a truly international network of artists and writers. I’ve just found out my story is being translated into Spanish and will distributed at Rizoma film festival. And all this is on top of generous prize money, meetings with fellow writers and publishers, and publication in limited edition booklet, as well as in Structo magazine.

    It really is a fairytale literary prize, and I am immensely proud to be the inaugural winner.”

    Ed Cottrell, winner of the 2018 Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

  • The Desperate Literature Prize keeps going way after the winners are announced. They really continue to champion your work; sending it to agents, putting you in touch with magazine editors, etc. I had so much fun in Madrid meeting the judges, other writers & booksellers and doing a reading in their lovely, packed-out shop. The most thoughtful and fun writing competition I’ve come across!”

    Caitlin Ingham, runner-up of the 2018 Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize