Winner of the 2019 Fresher Writing Prize for the Best Short Story

We are delighted to announce that Family Matters, by Martina Nesi, has been awarded the prize for the Best Short Story 2019.

Fresher Publishing judge, Ansa Khan Khattak, Editor at Picador said: “I loved the ambition of this story – our narrator sees spirits –and how it worked so well with the very human aspect of family relations. The author made sure we were very much with her in the present, but also dropped hints of the past, the cause of the still strained relations between her mother and her aunt, which made me believe that I was reading a snapshot into a real universe. I also loved the twist at the end – a terrible confession delivered so casually.”

This an author who knows how to hook her reader. An excellent opening line and a first page which immediately orientates the reader: we know who the narrator is, what this story is, what her world is. And yet the story also manages to be surprising. The voice throughout is consistent and convincing and I loved the blend of the supernatural and the real. 

Anna Mazzola

Martina, who is from Florence, will be awarded £200 in prize money and will have a reading of her story recorded at the BU’s radio studios, along with the poetry winner. Martina said, “I am so honoured and grateful for this award.”

Other highly commended stories were: I Was Once a Forest by Freya Norley; Slainte Mhath by Kelsey Regan; An Unconfirmed Appointment by Toni Hunter, and The Theorist by Alice Parsons.