4thWrite short story prize reveals ‘engaging and provocative’ 2021 shortlist

Seeking out the best new Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, this year’s finalists range across continents to show ‘the best of what stories can do’

The fallout from civil war invades the London home of a high-flying Sri Lankan couple. An elderly Jamaican woman faces up bravely to the inhumanity of deportation. And a young black man struggles to own his sexuality, in an English commuter town where he finds himself continually objectified.

“Cadaver” by teacher Sulaxana Hippisley, “Home Is Not Here” by Birmingham-based writer Laura Blake, and “Hopscotch” by Bedford-born poet and essayist Inigo Laguda are among six short stories shortlisted from a record number of entries to the 2021 4thWrite prize. Now in its fifth year, and run jointly by the Guardian and publisher 4th Estate, the award aims to seek out the stars of tomorrow from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK and Ireland.

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