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New Costa Short Story Award to be judged anonymously

18th July 2012

The latest addition to the Costa literary prizes – the Costa Short Story Award – is to be judged anonymously by the public, the prize organisers have confirmed.

In a novel twist on the awards concept, any permanent UK resident will be able to submit their entry, ranging from established authors to newcomers to the literary scene.

The submissions will first be judged by a panel of five experts, before six stories are shortlisted and put up for public vote.

According to Costa, the idea behind the process is to place all the candidates on a level playing field, so writers with established reputations do not have an advantage over first-timers.

Author Richard Beard, director of the National Academy of Writing and member of the initial judging panel, said the anonymity involved is a 'big attraction', as there is often much suspicion that literary prizes go to the same names.

'It will be really exciting to see all these stories and to genuinely not know who they are from. All entries will be judged on the words on the page. It's not about new writing or established writing – it's just about writing,' he added.

Entries can be submitted from today at www.costabookawards.com and will be accepted until September 7th, after which the judging panel will whittle down the competition to just six candidates.

An online public vote will then take place, with the winner of the Costa Short Story Award announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony, taking place on January 29th 2013.

Kevin Hydes, marketing director at Costa UK, said the prize will extend the reach of the awards in an unprecedented way.

He added: 'You don't need a publisher or an agent to enter this competition, just an idea and writing talent. We're encouraging anyone who has ever considered writing creatively, and those who write already, professionally or otherwise, to enter.'

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