Jonathan Pinnock - Writer of Stuff


In Praise of Shortlists

Yesterday the winners of the Seàn Ò Faolàin prize were announced, along with the previously-announced shortlist and the full longlist. First of all, huge congratulations to Nikita Nelin and Bernie McGill for taking the top two slots – I’m really looking forward to reading their stories, along with those of the other four runners-up.

I already knew that I hadn’t made it any further than the shortlist, but had been sworn to secrecy – which made it a little bit odd when everyone was wishing me luck for the next stage. However, I’m extremely happy to be there (and described as “Highly Commended”, too), especially having seen some of the other names there and on the longlist.

Incidentally, I should perhaps add that my wife, ever the pragmatist, responded to my cry of “Hey, I”m on another shortlist” with “When are you actually going to win something, then?” I can sort of see her point, because this year I’ve made it onto the shortlist of three significant short story competitions (the Fish, the Bristol and this one) without actually winning anything.

However, having read this piece the other day by the judge of the Wells Short Story competition (and I’m now rather sorry that I didn’t have anything available to send them), I think that maybe getting on a shortlist may be enough after all. The prize money would of course be nice, but it’s a longer game I’m playing here.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, anyway.


  1. Wanda Morrow-Clevenger

    September 21, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Players got to play the game…no matter the outcome. 🙂

  2. admin

    September 21, 2010 at 12:36 am

    True 🙂

    (Nice to see you here, Wanda, BTW!)

  3. ‘Best’ is such a subjective thing. Making it onto the shortlist means you’re good enough to be best, but that that judge on that day had a preference – maybe only a slight one – for a different story.
    That’s what I tell myself anyway!
    So very well done.

  4. admin

    September 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Thanks, Sherri 🙂

    BTW, have you noticed that the “Rob around books” blog is reviewing each of the Bristol stories in turn? Scary!

  5. Yes, I had seen that. Long time to wait for mine, I think, but scary nonetheless!

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