The winners of the 2009 Jane Austen Short Story Award were announced by author and Chair of Judges Sarah Waters at Chawton House Library on Saturday, July 18th during the New Directions in Austen Studies Conference. The first prize of £1000 went to Victoria Owens with her winning entry Jane Austen over the Styx. Sarah Waters described the story as an “original take on the Austen theme: a story about the author going to Hades to be judged by some of the more unpleasant characters she created in her novels. I thought this was very accomplished and stylish.” The two runners-up were Kristy Mitchell and Elsa Solender, each receiving a £200 prize.
Seventeen additional short stories winners were also chosen; Andrea Watsmere, Clair Humphries, Elaine Grotefeld, Elizabeth Hopkinson, Esther Belamy, Felicity Cowie, Hilary Spiers, Jacqui Hazell, Kelly Brendel, Lane Ashfeldt, Mary Howell, Nancy Saunders, Penelope Randall, Rebecca Cordingly, Stephanie Shields, Stephanie Tillotson, and Suzy Hughes. All of the winners will be included in a new anthology Dancing with Mr. Darcy: Stories Inspired by Jane Austen to be published by Honno and Chawton House Library this October.
The Jane Austen Short Story Award 2009 was created by Chawton House Library in conjunction with the bicentenary celebration of Jane Austen’s arrival in the village of Chawton in Hampshire, where all of her major novels were revised or written, culminating in the most productive writing years of her life.
Dancing with Mr. Darcy: Stories Inspired by Jane Austen will also contain introductions by Sarah Waters and Rebecca Smith, the five-times great grand-niece of Jane Austen. You can pre-order it directly through Honno, or at The Book Depository.
Congratulations go out to all the winners. I am all anticipation in reading your stories.