2022 National Short Story Award Shortlist Announced

Meet the Shortlist 2022


Photo credit: Julia Hawkins

Kerry Andrew is a composer, performer and author and the winner of four British Composer Awards. Kerry’s debut novel, Swansong, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2018, and a second novel, SKIN, was published in 2021. Kerry was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2018 and was an Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize-winner in 2021. With a PhD in composition from the University of York, Kerry specialises in experimental vocal and choral music, music-theatre and community music, and has created work for the likes of Wigmore Hall, the National Theatre, Art on the Underground, BBC Proms, the Lost Words: Spell Songs and London Sinfonietta. Kerry co-founded the award-winning Juice Vocal Ensemble and performs as alt-folk band You Are Wolf.


Photo credit: Johny Bean

Jenn Ashworth’s first novel, A Kind of Intimacy, was published in 2009 and won a Betty Trask Award. On the publication of her second, Cold Light (Sceptre, 2011) she was featured on the BBC’s The Culture Show as one of the UK’s twelve best new writers. In 2019 she published a memoir-in-essays, Notes Made While Falling which was a New Statesman Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize. Her latest novel is Ghosted: A Love Story which was shortlisted for the Portico prize. She lives in Lancashire and is a Professor of Writing at Lancaster University.


Photo credit: Sarah Rudd of Lyra Moth Photography

Anna Bailey was born in 1995 and grew up in Gloucestershire, studying Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, before moving to Texas and later Colorado. They are a former freelance journalist and an alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing program, where they wrote their first novel, literary thriller ‘Tall Bones’ (2021), which follows the disappearance of a teenage girl from a very isolated, religious community deep in the Rocky Mountains. It was a Sunday Times bestseller and was longlisted for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year.


Photo credit: Elizabeth Wicks

Vanessa Onwuemezi is a writer and poet living in London. She is the winner of The White Review short story prize 2019 and her work has appeared in literary and art magazines including Granta, frieze and Prototype. She has a BA in Biological Sciences, an MSc in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London in 2018. Her debut short story collection, Dark Neighbourhood, was published by Fitzcarraldo Editions UK, in October 2021 and was named one of the Guardian’s best books of 2021. It was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2022.


Photo credit: Sophie Davidson
Saba Sams has been published in the Stinging Fly, Granta and Five Dials, among others. She was shortlisted for the White Review Short Story Prize in 2019. Her debut collection of short stories, Send Nudes, was published in 2022 and has been longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2022. She studied Creative Writing as an undergraduate at The University of Manchester, followed by an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck. She is from Brighton.