Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2014-15: the shortlist 1st January 2015 – Tags: , , , , , ,

We are delighted to combine Happy New Year well wishes, with the announcement of the shortlist for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, 2014-15.

We received around 800 entries from 31 countries and the quality was high and incredibly diverse.

The 22 judges we selected to critique the work were all literary achievers in their own right and they brought expertise to the table from many different fields of writing and editing. They also added international flair and empathy, as several of them were dotted around the planet and made their decisions remotely via email.

They all worked incredibly hard during the main judging weekend in early December and many of the UK evaluators met at a farmhouse near our office here in the south west; visit our judgemental gallery for a behind the scenes peek.

After a great deal of deliberation, comment and discussion, we finally nailed down a longlist of fifteen pieces in each category and over the past few weeks, the judges have allocated their final scores.

The winners will be announced on Saturday 14th February at the Lyme Regis Literary Festival where we hope to do a little live streaming of the event 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 14th February, 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.

Thank you in advance for helping to springboard these talented new writers and for supporting this incredibly important reforestation project.

Here are our shortlisted entries in alphabetical order:


  • “Celia’s Shoes” by Sharon Black (FR)
  • “Modern” by Eleonore Schonmaier (NL)
  • “Of Ectoplasm And Mother” by Corrinna Toop (UK)
  • “Step-Mother” by Catherine Rolfe (UK)
  • “The Loneliness Of The Drunk Mathematician” by Heather Combe (UK)
  • “The Old House” by Paul Sherman (UK)
  • “The Song Of The Child That Wants To Come” by Graham Burchell (UK)
  • “The World Stands Still To Weep” by Sarah Wallis (UK)
  • “Unwinding” by Fiona McIlroy (AU)
  • “Woman” by Hannah Cooper-Smithson (UK)


  • “A Season For All People” by Shirley Golden (UK)
  • “Blurred Edges” by Michelle Wright (AU)
  • “Decisions, Decisions” by Christie Cluett (UK)
  • “Looking For Joey” by Fred Canavan (UK)
  • “Tears In Hailar” by James de Beresford (UK)
  • “The Blank Space” by Gordon Strong (UK)
  • “The Journalist” by Christopher Naylor (AU)
  • “The Lotus Shoes” by Kristina Pawliw (AU)
  • “Waking” by Teresa Stenson (UK)
  • “Weapon Of God” by Casey Tonkin (AU)

Excitedly yours,

The Team