The Moth International Short Story Prize 2018: Caoilinn Hughes (1st and 3rd) and Tracey Slaughter (2nd)

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‘The author Kevin Barry chose not one but two of Caoilinn Hughes’ stories as his prizewinners in this year’s Moth Short Story Prize, which he judged anonymously. Psychobabble takes first prize, and is, according to Barry, “a story that walks a difficult road in terms of its tone or note – it’s a dark situation dealt with not lightly but with an effervescence in the line, in the sentence-making, and it’s this vivacity that elevates the piece above the rest. It’s both poignant and very funny, emotional yet sardonic. The writer has great control.”’

You can read Caoilinn’s winning story, ‘Psychobabble’ here.

You can read her third placed story, ‘Standard Deviation’ here.


And poet and fiction writer, Tracey Slaughter, came 2nd with ‘Postcards are a Thing of the Past’.

Tracey Slaughter’s Postcards are a Thing of the Past, which won second prize, is “a narrative that shows the boundless possibilities of the short story as a form – it could be described almost as a kind of erotic travelogue, but the important movement is internal, or within,” said Barry. “It’s about the heart, essentially, and there is real intensity in the writing, and some astonishing jolts in the language.”

You can read Tracey’s story here.

The three winning stories appear in the autumn issue of The Moth, available to purchase in select bookshops and online

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