Posted on 12 Comments

Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2015-16: the shortlist

We are thrilled to announce the shortlist for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, 2015-16.

We received almost 1,000 entries from 32 countries – exceeding last year on both counts – and once again, the quality was high and incredibly diverse.

The 19 judges we selected to critique the work this year are based in 5 countries on 4 continents and are literary achievers in their own right. They brought professionalism and expertise to the table from many different fields of writing and editing.

We also welcomed a handful of new judges this year, namely author Sarah Barnard, editor Jason Cridland, writer and environmentalist Sandie Roach, marketing consultant Andrew Welch, Kye West and internationally acclaimed photographer and author Andy Wright.

Our judges made their decisions remotely via the amazing MOLP Marking Machine, a fabulous piece of bespoke software which was designed and created by our very own Simon West.

After a great deal of necessary tea drinking, biscuit munching, late nights, deliberation and discussion, we nailed down a shortlist of ten pieces in each category, the judges then reviewed each piece again and allocated their final scores.

The winners will be announced on Saturday 26th March at the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Awards & Festival of Words to which you are cordially invited; we will be live streaming the event again too!

For now, we’ll leave you to ponder our shortlist with great excitement. All of the short stories and poems listed below will be featured in our anthology which is an absolutely cracking read.

If you’d like a copy, you can place a pre-order in our shop now and beyond the 26th March, you’ll be able to order it from your local bookshop.

Every single book sale will result in another tree being planted in our tropical Word Forest.

Here are our shortlisted entries in alphabetical order:


  • ‘Burying the Dark’ by Miriam Calleja (MT)
  • ‘Firedamp at Felling’ by Corrinna Toop (GB)
  • ‘Manifesto of the Machines’ by Steve Herbert (NZ)
  • ‘Poetry Lovers’ by Adele Cordner (GB)
  • ‘Return of The Muse’ by Adele Cordner (GB)
  • ‘Slices of Spam’ by Angela Croft (GB)
  • ‘The Black Chair’ by Georgina Caine (GB)
  • ‘What if We Counted Time In Oaks’ by Jean Atkin (GB)
  • ‘When the Soldier Returns From the War’ by Theresa Lola (GB)
  • ‘You Were my Semicolon’ by Lynsey-Ruth Mansfield (GB)


  • ‘ADHD for Beginners’ by Lynne McVernon (GB)
  • ‘Business as Usual at the Yew Tree’ by Hannah Persaud (GB)
  • ‘Chance Encounter’ by Maris Morton (AU)
  • ‘Drag Hag’ by Fee Johnstone (GB)
  • ‘Finn’ by Sandra Crook (GB)
  • ‘Gone Fishing’ by Fred Canavan (GB)
  • ‘Into the Driving Rain’ by John Irving Clarke (GB)
  • ‘Maia’ by Suraya Dewing (NZ)
  • ‘Mum’s Mannequins’ by Natasha Bland (NZ)
  • ‘The Taste of Forgiveness’ by Zandra Carrington (IE)

Excitedly yours,

The Team

P.S. We are still awaiting the GPS co-ordinates for the trees which have been unfortunately delayed by illness. As soon as we receive them we shall issue all entrants with their certificates.

12 thoughts on “Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2015-16: the shortlist

  1. Honoured to be on this list, and so happy that my poem is planting trees. Can’t wait to be in Dorset!

    1. Hi Miriam,

      Thank you for getting in touch and we are delighted to have you on the list too!

      Look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

      With kind regards,

      The Team

  2. […] use a bit of good news these days?) is that I’ve been one of ten people short-listed for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2016.  There were almost a thousand entries, across 32 different countries, so even though I […]

    1. We look forward to seeing you on 26th March for our award ceremony. It looks like it’s going to be another really special event for the contestants and for us!

  3. […] Delighted to hear that Sandra Crook  a stalwart of FF, is one of ten people short-listed for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2016 and that our FBM Rochelle is busy with her next book and interviews on radio etc., etc., […]

    1. What a celebration of words in a jar!

      The Team

  4. I am thrilled to be the lone representative of New Zealand in the Poetry awards, and also, it seems, the only thorn amongst a bunch of roses.
    However, I would like to congratulate my two fellow-kiwis on the Stories list. NZ punching above its weight again!

    Sadly, I can’t make the awards, but there’s a party at my place as we watch the live streaming.

    1. How fabulous – you will certainly be with us in spirit!

      The Team

  5. Well done to everyone on the shortlist and I will be watching the live event with family on the big day!

    Wonderful competition with great values too-so honoured to be a part of it all. Thank you.

    1. Fabulous!

      We hope you enjoy the event virtually and in good company.

      The Team

  6. Many congratulations to the (hopefully jubilant) prize winners. Fantastic achievement, well done. I look forward to reading the anthology 🙂

    1. Thank you Zandra! It was a smashing event and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book.

      The (slightly bushed) Team

Comments are closed.