Described by The Paris Review as ‘alarmingly elegant’ and ‘a thing of beauty’ by Vogue, The White Review is a literary and arts journal based in London, founded in February 2011 by Ben Eastham and Jacques Testard. Hoping to nurture ‘a space for a new generation to express itself unconstrained by form, subject or genre’, the journal publishes fiction, interviews, essays, poetry and more recently books and art reviews, accompanied by original artwork and photography.
A thing of beauty maybe, but the journal also boasts an impressive list of quality contributors and writers, and has cemented itself not only as an aesthetically pleasing publication, but also as the place to be published for young, emerging writers.
Since 2013, The White Review has run a short story prize for previously unpublished writers, supported by a small grant from the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. In collaboration with United Agents, the prize aims to showcase and promote emerging writers resident in Britain and Ireland, and ultimately, help them to secure a publishing deal. Previous winners of the prize have gone on to secure deals with recognised publishers such as Hamish Hamilton, Fitzcarraldo Editions, Fourth Estate and The Stinging Fly.
The prize awards £2,500 to the best work of fiction between 2,000-7,000 words, though there are no limitations on genre, theme or subject matter. According to the journal: ‘The judges will be looking for short stories that explore and expand the possibilities of the form,’ and remind applicants that the prize was ‘founded to reward ambitious, imaginative and innovative approaches to creative writing.’
Speaking on the prize (that is currently still accepting submissions for 2018), co-editor Francesca Wade highlighted both the artistic and pragmatic opportunities it offers writers: ‘The White Review was founded with the aim of supporting new writers, and the Short Story Prize has been a wonderful way to discover some really exciting talents, many of whom have gone on to find book deals – Claire-Louise Bennett, Sophie Mackintosh, Eley Williams, Nicole Flattery – and several of whom we’ve worked with again. They’re all producing work which is bold and innovative, assured and daring, and it’s been a joy to see them succeed, especially if the platform of the prize has helped draw agents’ and editors’ attention to their writing.’
This year’s prize will be judged by: Chloe Aridjis, a Mexican writer based in London; Sam Byers, author of Idiopathy; Željka Marošević, co-editor of The White Review and co-publisher of Daunt Books; Anna Meadows, commissioning editor at Granta and Portobello Books; and Sophie Scard of United Agents.
Taking its name from La Revue Blanche, a Parisian-based journal which ran from 1889 to 1903, The White Review is steeped in artistic elegance and style. But it is also serious about good writing, highlighted by the recent anthology they created, which included fiction from Anne Carson, Chris Kraus, and Álvaro Enrigue, essays by Deborah Levy and Lars Iyer, and art by JH Engström.
And what is comforting is that this list is certain to get bigger, brighter and better if this spirit of supporting good quality and daring literary fiction continues into the future.
Click here for more information on The White Review’s Short Story Prize. Submissions will be accepted until March 1.