The Guardian has put out its annual Short Story Special, featuring work by Dave Eggers, A.M. Homes, David Mitchell, William Boyd, and Julie Myerson. This year, the Special also includes six short stories written by Guardian readers, culled from a pool of almost 2,000 by judges William Boyd and Julie Myerson.
The winning story, “Broken Crockery,” is the publishing debut (!) of Lisa Blower, who is studying creative writing at Bangor University. Here’s an excerpt:
Mum says my nan’s in hospital with Margaret Thatcher. […]
My nan doesn’t like Margaret Thatcher because she’d kicked women in the shins and blew off kneecaps so a working man would know what mercy meant. She said that Margaret Thatcher drove a tank straight through the poor people and was only wearing a headscarf. She said that Margaret Thatcher said that everyone should have a house because that was the law. Mum says houses are greedy old things. They take up all your money and need new clothes all the time. I’ve bought my nan a new pair of slippers for her birthday. They’re fashion ones, like my nan wants. My nan isn’t old. She said in her head she’s only 33. “How old is Margaret Thatcher?” I asked. “The devil looks after its own,” said my nan.
Check out the five finalists here, and read more about the making of this year’s Short Story Special.