Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction 2018 Winner Announced

We and the University of Central Lancashire are delighted to announce that the winner of the inaugural Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction is Lucas Stewart, with his story 'Bakhur'.

Lucas Stewart is a former literature adviser to the British Council, author of The People Elsewhere: Unbound Journeys with the Storytellers of Myanmar (Penguin/Viking, 2016) and co-editor with Alfred Birnbaum of Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds, the first anthology of short stories from Myanmar published in the West.  He writes at www.sadaik.com.

Stephen Hargadon and Selma Carvalho were the two runners up, with their stories 'The Lull' and 'How Abu Baker Met His Third Wife', respectively.


The theme for the inaugural year (2018) was ‘Café Stories’, in honour of Dinesh’s Café Shorts series which he posted on his blog. He believed cafes to be “fertile ground for the short story.” In his own words, he said “The reason a café setting works is because we understand what goes on there, without the gauze of a local or historical context.”

The shortlist was chosen with the help of UCLan creative writing students, who then handed it over to our panel of judges for 2018, which included Dr. Naomi Kruger (Lecturer in Creative Writing at UCLan), Claire Dean (author of multiple short stories for Comma, debut collection published by Papaveria in 2017), Abdulrazak Gurnah (novelist and lecturer at University of Kent) and Inua Ellams (poet, performer, playwright, graphic artist and designer).

An eBook featuring their stories, as well as the 7 others shortlisted, is now available to buy for only 99p from the Kindle Store.

The full list of writers and stories is as follows:

Lucas Stewart - 'Bakhur'
Selma Carvalho -
'How Abu Baker Met His Third Wife'
Stephen Hargadon - 'The Lull'
Rose McDonagh - 'Black and Orange Caterpillars'
Benjamin Britworth - 'Showdown at Devil's End'
Victoria MacKenzie - 'The Proper Way to Eat Sardines'
Marija Smits -
'The Death of the Grapevine'
Eva Böhme - 'Cherry Girl'
WB Gooderham - 'Flat White'
Kim Squirrell - 'Four Times Forty Seconds at The Exploding Bakery Cafe'

Congratulations to all those shortlisted, and thanks to everyone that submitted and supported the Prize in its inaugural year. The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction will be opening for submissions again on Monday 14th May 2018, with a new theme of 'Scent', the title of Dinesh's posthumous collection. For more information about the pirze, follow this link.