As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to see that Valerie O’Riordan had won the Bristol Short Story Prize. Valerie’s both a lovely person and very talented writer – two reasons for me to be happy for her.

And because those Bristol Prize folks are also lovely, they were good enough to send me a copy of the anthology. I’ve read it now and I must say I’ve been very impressed. Very impressed.

Some of the people whose stories made it into the anthology are people I know (and like!) so you might think I’d say that anyway. Nope. Not at all. I’ve said it because I mean it. The quality’s really, really high. And that doesn’t change whether we’re talking about stories in there by Clare Wallais, Claire King, Ben Walker, Joanna Campbell or Jon Pinnock – or Valerie’s story – a deeply affecting one told in only a few hundred words (size ISN’T everything, see!). I was also particularly taken with ‘Being Mother’ by Sherri Turner – that nearly made me cry.

It’s an excellent collection – as varied in its content as it is good, and I’d recommend reading it.

And by the by, I interviewed the brilliant Joe Melia, the prize’s coordinator, a little while ago here. And I’ll be interviewing, the equally brilliant, Valerie here soon too. Lots to look forward to.