Carys Davies wins Frank O’Connor short story award

Author of ‘The Redemption of Galen Pike’ described as ‘a remarkable voice’

Welsh writer Carys Davies has been selected as the winner of the 2015 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for her selection of short stories The Redemption of Galen Pike .

This is the second short story collection from Ms Davies who lives in Lancaster in England.

The €25,000 prize, which is the single most lucrative in the world for a collection of short stories, was founded to encourage publishers to issue more collections of stories by individual authors and to acknowledge Cork’s relationship with the short story.

The award is co-sponsored by Cork City Council and by The School of English, University College Cork.


Six books were in the running for the 2015 award; Refund by Karen E Bender (Counterpoint Press); The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies (Salt Publishing); Mr Tall by Tony Earley (Little Brown); Infidelities by Kirsty Gunn (Faber); Crow Fair by Thomas McGuane (Knopf); and My Documents by Alejandro Zambra (Fitzcarraldo Press).

The international panel of judges for this year’s award included American novelist Ladette Randolph, British novelist Clive Sinclair and Irish novelist and director of Creative Writing at the School of English, University College Cork, Eibhear Walshe.

Artistic Director of the Munster Literature Centre Patrick Cotter acted as non-voting chairman of the group.

Mr Walshe described the stories from The Redemption of Galen Pike as "truly original" and a "striking collection, full of funny, keenly observed stories".

“The language is economical with not a word to spare,” she said. “Davies takes

historical moments and themes and examines them in novel ways which intrigue the reader. Here is a remarkable voice.”

Award director Patrick Cotter said the prize not only acknowledged a gifted writer, but also Salt Publishing - “a small independent, gritty publisher which has been dedicated to the short story for over a decade”.

Previous winners include Edna O'Brien, Haruki Murakami, Ron Rash and Yiyun Li. Last year's winner was the Irish author Colin Barrett for his collection Young Skins.

The award will be presented to Carys Davies at the closing of the Cork International Short Story Festival in September.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast