An Associate Professor in our English department has followed in the footsteps of some of her favourite short story writers by winning the Edge Hill Short Story Prize Readers’ Choice Award.
Dr Naomi Booth’s story ‘Sour Hall’, which was selected from her collection, ‘Animals at Night’, was awarded first place along with a £1,000 prize.
The story is set in Calder Valley in West Yorkshire and tells the tale of two women trying to build a life together on an old dairy farm.
The idea was inspired by regional folklore about boggarts. Naomi was commissioned to re-visit this folktale as part of HAG, a project that aimed to celebrate forgotten stories linked to different areas in the UK and Ireland.
The story is a part of Naomi’s ‘Animals at Night’ collection, which brings together stories that illuminate nocturnal meetings between humans and other animals.
The collections include tales written about a woman feeding a baby late at night listening to the animal sounds in the city around her, a grieving widow encountering an injured jellyfish on a deserted beach and a young woman who can’t shake the image of a dying hare she finds at the side of the road.
The stories are quite different from one another, but in all of them, a human situation is interrupted by the animal and natural world.
Naomi has previously published two novels, Sealed and Exit Management, and has two new novels on the way, which centre on the city of York.
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