2017 HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition: shortlist and winner

The Historical Writers’ Association and the Dorothy Dunnett Society are pleased to announce the winner and two highly commended entries to the inaugural HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition 2017. We look forward to reading the winning story in December’s Whispering Gallery!

Winning Entry

A Poppy Against the Sky – Annie Whitehead

Highly Commended

End of the Rope – Majella Cullinane
Us girls – Sarah Evans


Guilty until Proven Innocent – Daphne Breen
Haint Blue – Helen Cairns
The Moresco – Bella D’Arcy Reed
Blind, blind – Allan Drew
Signor Pietro’s Pigeon – Elizabeth Hopkinson
White Feather Girl – Avril Joy
The Damson Orchard – Liz Kershaw
Steer the Dark Skies Blue – Niamh MacCabe
Finish the Course – Anna Mazzola
All I Have Done Is Survive – Richard Smyth

Imogen Robertson, chair of the Judging panel, said:

“I was astonished and delighted by the range and quality of the stories we received. It was extremely difficult to pick our winners from such a strong field and I was deeply impressed by the fresh and engaging voices, superb writing and story-telling skills on display. I’m sure Dorothy Dunnett would have enjoyed them thoroughly and I am very pleased to see so many excellent writers at work on historical fiction.”

Pamela Gordon, Judge, said:

“The response to the competition was splendid and the standard of entries very high. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to read the stories and take part in the selection of the worthy winners. The Dorothy Dunnett Society is happy that republication of her historical novels has created the occasion also to celebrate the work of contemporary writers of historical fiction.”

Norah Perkins, Judge, said:

“It has been a great honour to read the stories entered for the inaugural Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Prize – and very hard to whittle them down to a shortlist, though we were unanimous in our choice of winner. It is a vibrant crop of stories, from around the world and from ancient times to recent history, and I’m sure Dorothy would have been delighted to see so many brilliant writers carrying on in her footsteps.”

The winning author and the two highly Commended authors have been invited to receive their awards at the HWA Award Ceremony on the 7th November 2017 in London. Hosted by historian, novelist and broadcaster Kate Williams, this award ceremony will also see the announcement of the winners of the 2017 HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown, HWA Non Fiction Crown and the HWA Debut Crown.


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