The Galley Beggar Press
Short Story Prize 2019/20 


Seven classic stories recommended by our 2019/20 prize judge, Todd McEwen

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(1) ‘Living’ by J California Cooper. This appears in her collection Homemade Love. Here’s a link to it at the Internet Archive.

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(2) ‘The Tuggs’s at Ramsgate’ by Charles Dickens. This is in any edition of Sketches by Boz.


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(3) ‘The Chicken’ by Clarice Lispector. This is in a number of collections – including this anthology of Jewish South American writing.

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(4) ‘The Day the Dam Broke’, by James Thurber. This appears in My Life and Hard Times, and also in The Thurber Carnival.

(5) ‘Dante and the Lobster’, by Samuel Beckett. This is the first story in More Pricks than Kicks, widely available.



(6) ‘The Story of a Story’, by Stevie Smith. This is in several collections, notably Stevie Smith, A Selection (Faber & Faber).

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(7) ‘The Misadventures of John Nicholson’, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It appears in any copy of Island Nights’ Entertainments, including here.





And No. 8! In addition to the seven stories above, Todd has recommended Monica Datta’s ‘Zus!’, published in the current edition of The Evergreen, a project of the Word Bank, and - thanks to Todd - available on our website, here.

TODD McEWEN has published five novels: Fisher’s HornpipeMcX: A Romance of the DourArithmetic, Who Sleeps with Katz, and The Five Simple Machines. A book of essays on America, How Not to be American, was published by Aurum in 2013. He was an editorial consultant at Granta for several years and has been one of its major contributors. He has taught writing and literature at all levels in the US and in Britain, holding fellowships in North Carolina, Aberdeen and Orkney. For three years he was a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Kent in Canterbury. As well as publishing his work in The Paris Magazine, City Picks: New York, the Scottish Review of Books, and The Evergreen, Todd has reviewed for the ScotsmanScotland on Sunday, and the Guardian; he now regularly reviews fiction for the Herald and the National. Todd has been a Hawthornden Fellow, and was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Glasgow University. Committed to the promotion of good literature, he has helped many writers into print.

  • Full information on the 2019/20 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize, and how to enter, can be found here.