Reading Complete

All stories submitted for The Route Book at Bedtime and Contemporary Short Stories have now been read. We received 340 submissions, from which we longlisted 40 stories, which is now down to a shortlist of 20. All writers who have been notified. You can see a photograph of the submission pile here.

We genuinely sorry that we couldn’t include more stories, it was a rich bunch. As always the reading process was a moving and humbling experience. Several themes emerged from the reading: there was a wealth of stories concerned with relocation after a relationship had broken down; there was also a strand of fathers with daughters coming of age and the hurt they felt when the light of their life’s attention turns to boys. Most of all the stories once again revealed the difficulties in finding and keeping love. For the first time in several years there was no explosions on trains, no terror in cities, no mistrust between different cultures on the streets. Maybe the psychological terror brought on by our former guardians is finally lifting.

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