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Anglia Ruskin graduate makes Costa shortlist

Published: 22 January 2019 at 11:31

Caroline Ward Vine

Caroline Ward Vine on three-woman shortlist for short story written during her MA

Former Anglia Ruskin University masters student Caroline Ward Vine has been named on the three-woman shortlist for the prestigious Costa Short Story Award.

Caroline, who graduated from the MA in Creative Writing last year, has been shortlisted for her story Breathing Water. She wrote Breathing Water while studying at Anglia Ruskin University, and an earlier version of the story formed part of the major project for her MA. 

Alongside Caroline on the Costa Short Story Award’s first all-female shortlist are Sophie Wellstood and Amanda Huggins.  The award, which is for the best single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words, is voted for by the public and will be announced and presented alongside the five other categories at the main Costa Book Awards ceremony in central London next Tuesday [29 January].

Caroline now runs her own communications consultancy alongside her writing, following a successful career spanning education and magazine publishing. As a managing director at IPC Media (now TI Media) she was responsible for titles including TV Times, Woman and Now.

She studied on the MA in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University from 2015-18, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize in 2016.  Caroline’s short stories were also shortlisted for the Bath Short Story Award and published in its 2018 anthology, and she was longlisted for this year’s Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett Prize.

Caroline, who is currently working on her debut novel as well as finishing a collection of short stories, said:

“I was stunned when I read the letter from the Costa Awards team telling me my story was in the top three: it took a good hour for my knees to stop shaking.

“That was back in November, and it was agony keeping the news to myself while the public vote took place. Because I couldn’t talk about it, I’m not sure it truly sank in until this week, when the writers’ names were announced.

“It’s an odd feeling, waiting now to find out the results. I am so grateful to everyone who took the time to read and vote: I hope they enjoyed my story, even if in the end they preferred another.”

If Caroline is successful next Tuesday and takes home the £3,500 first prize, she will be the third Costa Book Awards winner with Anglia Ruskin University connections in the last three years.  Former head of department and honorary award holder Rebecca Stott won the Costa Biography Award last year, while former Anglia Ruskin Royal Literary Fund Fellow Francis Spufford claimed the Costa First Novel Award in January 2017.