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On the day Dan Brown’s new novel dominates the books blogs – and the financial concerns of booksellers the world over – you wouldn’t blame the humble short story writer for having spent the past 10 hours with their head hung over a frequently refilled brandy glass, bemoaning their supposed drawing of the literary short straw when it comes to opportunities of making a mint.

News of The Sunday Times' award is yet to reach Russia's short story authors

News of The Sunday Times' award is yet to reach Russia's short story authors

 But, dear Bind reader, the short story writer doesn’t need your pity. Oh no, in fact, the short story writer has tossed the brandy glass, turned on their heels and left your compassionate countenance in the dust in their dash for what is being touted as the world’s richest prize for an individual short story.

Short fiction's Fairy Godmother: Lynn Barber

Short fiction's Fairy Godmother: Lynn Barber

The Sunday Times‘ literary editor Andrew Holgate, and writers Lynn Barber, A S Byatt, Nick Hornby and Hanif Kureishi are the fairy godparents who will bestow this prize, the Sunday Times/EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. But who cares what it’s called?! Not the potential entrants, I’d wager, who are more fussed about the fact that, come March 2010, when the winner is announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, they could be £25k richer. And five runners up will receive £500 each. Which they will probably spend on brandy and Dan Brown books with which to fuel both their stoves and their all-consuming bitterness.

The award is open to authors to have been published in the UK and Ireland, with the winning stories will be published in The Sunday Times Magazine and online with additional podcasts/audio download. Tell your friends! The Bind, meanwhile, is off to learn about sustainable fish farms from Hugh.

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