Eight UCLan students have ‘write stuff’ as finalists of Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction

A team of talented students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have used their literary talents to select eight writers as finalists of the fourth Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 3:45 pm
Short-listed authors for Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction Picture: Rebecca Parkinson

Shortlisting down from a record number of almost 600 entries, the eight students, have been working in conjunction with independent publisher Comma Press on the prestigious project, which honours writer and UCLan lecturer Dinesh.

The theme of this year’s Dinesh Prize was ‘Home’. The shortlisted writers are: Solomon Jessie, Jeremy Hinchliff, Kate Carne, Isabella Rona, Marian McCraith, Isha Karki, Kieron Connolly and Annie Power.

Shortlistee Jeremy Hinchliff said: “Getting on the shortlist for the Dinesh Allirajah prize is a real boost in a difficult year. So I’m chuffed my story has got this far. Mid-length shorts are very difficult to find a home for these days and every time you get any kind of success it’s a cause for celebration.”

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The writing prize shortlist has now been passed on to a judging panel which includes Courttia Newland (author of A River Called Time), Abi Fellows (agent at The Good Literary Agency), Phil Braithwaite (Lecturer in Creative Writing at UCLan) and Alfred Searls (Northern Soul).

UCLan’s Phil Braithwaite said: “It is my pleasure and privilege to have been chosen to judge this year’s Dinesh prize. The stories submitted are of outstanding quality, and it will be very difficult to select one overall winner. Congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted.”

After the winner is announced at an online ceremony in June, the eight shortlisted stories will all be published online as an eBook by Comma Press, and the winner will receive £500 from UCLan, as well as having their winning story published in Northern Soul, media partner for the Dinesh Prize.

Comma Press and UCLan set up the prize as an opportunity to showcase exciting new literary talent from across the UK, imposing no restrictions on entry such as a

fee or a first-publication.