2012 Paris Literary Prize

2013 Prize Winner C.E. Smith

2013 Prize Runner-up Svetlana Lavochkina

2013 Prize Runner-up Tessa Brown

2013 Jury Member Erica Wagner

2013 Jury Member Rebecca Carter

Shakespeare and Company Paris - in full bloom


We are proud to announce
Body Electric by C.E. Smith
as the winner of the Paris Literary Prize 2013

In collaboration with The White Review (www.thewhitereview.org), Shakespeare and Company has produced a limited edition of the winning novella launched at this year's prize ceremony, held on June 16th, Bloomsday. To purchase a copy, please email books@shakespeareandcompany.com

Praise for Body Electric

"The complications of a father-daughter relationship; the vicissitudes of a society eroded by the glare of reality TV; a concrete vision of life and death as it radiates out from the men and women who work in the Nashville morgue. Body electric is a sophisticated, complex portrait of human relationships — and a novella, that most difficult of forms, that encompasses a real, whole world." - Erica Wagner

"Body electric is as thoughtful, controlled and unsentimental as its coroner protagonist. A terrific novella." - Ned Beauman

"Body electric is an exquisitely executed story. C.E. Smith maps out the intricacies of the human heart through death and heart break with an abundance of compassion and the type of wisdom that reminds us why we read fiction in the first place." - Dinaw Mengestu


Paris Literary Prize Winners

Body Electric by C.E. Smith

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, C.E. Smith studied English at Stanford and medicine at Vanderbilt. His short stories have appeared The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and Rosebud. His novel Brother's Keeper is forthcoming in 2014 from Atlantic Books. He lives with his wife and children in Louisville, Kentucky, where he works as a radiologist.


Dam Duchess by Svetiana Lavochkina

Svetlana Lavochkina was born and raised in eastern Ukraine and currently resides in estern Germany. She writes fiction and translates Ukrainian and Russian poetry. Her short stories and translations were recently published in Witness, Drunken Boat, Chamber Four Fiction anthology, The Literary Review, Eclectica (shortlisted for Million Writers' Award in 2010), In Our Own Words anthology, Mad Hatters' Review and Chapman (Edinburgh).

In 2011, Svetlana founded Leipzig Writers, a non-profit organization supporting international literary projects.




Sorry for Partying by Tessa Brown

Tessa Brown’s prose has appeared in Harper’s, The Forward, and The New Haven Review, and on her blog, Hiphopocracy. She received her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. She lives in Ann Arbor, where she teaches writing.






The shortlist:

Special mention goes to the shortlisted novellas of this year's prize.

The Revenge Artist by Saffron Hall

Saffron Hall is from Cape Town, South Africa. She attended the University of Stellenbosch where she pursued a BA in Languages and Culture and an Honours in English. She received a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford University and attended the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell. She is currently enrolled as a PhD student in English at the University of Virginia where she is writing her dissertation on the influence of African idealism on the history of the novel. She spends the rest of her time converting her novella The Revenge Artist into a novel, and raising awareness about lyme disease.

Brother by George Tully

George Tully lives in Chicago with his wife and newborn son. He graduated from Georgetown University in 2005 and received his MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. After being awarded a graduate fellowship, he began teaching creative writing at SAIC. He is currently working on his first full-length novel.

The Girl in the Crown by Liam O’Brien

Liam October O’Brien, 23, grew up on a small island outside Seattle. In 2012, he graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, where he received the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Poetry and the Nancy Lynn Schwartz Prize for Fiction. His work can be found most recently in Unsaid Magazine and The Offending Adam. His fiddling and songwriting can be found in the band Friendly Strangers, whose album Where We Go, We Grow was released last year. He lives in Yonkers with his partner.

Protection by Brenna Conley

Brenna Conley is a freelance writer with an Honors degree in creative writing. Her hunger for travel led to an obsession with the natural world, culture and mythology. She writes a weekly column on local adventure spots for her college’s news forum, Viking Fusion, and she has been published in Berry College’s art and literary magazine, Ramifications, for her lyric essays and poetry. She received the Academy of American Poets Award in 2011 and the Hammond Poetry Award in 2012. Brenna travels to gain inspiration from strangers and from landscapes; she recently returned from a hitchhiking trip that took her from Portugal to the southern coast of Italy.



The Readers:

The Paris Literary Prize would simply not be possible without the dedication of the diverse crew of readers that selected our short list. The first-round reading panel was comprised of booksellers, lawyers, students, producers, writers, artists and journalists, all part of the Shakespeare and Company community in Paris.

Adam Biles is a Paris-based writer and translator. His novella GREY CATS - finalist in the Paris Literary Prize 2011 - is available now from 3:AM Press. www.adambiles.com.

Eleanor Coleman is an avid reader, who works on animation projects for children's cinema & television.

Terry Craven is the Shakespeare and Company coordinator for the Paris Literary Prize and a writer.

David Delannet taught Literature and Philosophy, and got his PhD in Philosophy at the Sorbonne in 2007. He has co-directed FestivalandCo in 2008 and 2010, and is one of the Prize's organisers since its first edition in 2011. He runs Shakespeare and Company with Sylvia Whitman. 

Linda Fallon is the head buyer at Shakespeare and Company. From Ireland originally, she has been living in Paris for six years.

Darren Frey's background is in Philosophy and Religious Studies, and he has worked as a translator, editor, and lecturer.  He is currently writing his first novel.

Charles de Groot is a Harvard MBA and former CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-listed company. Currently Co-director of The de Groot Foundation.

Saara Marchadour is a bookseller living in Paris. She has worked for a number of independent bookshops including The Africa Book Centre, Foyle's, The Travel Bookshop and, most recently, Shakespeare & Company. She has also been a member of several editorial panels and, for the past three years, a judge for the British Guild of Travel Writers Awards.

Ben McConnell lives in Paris and can often be seen behind the desk at Shakespeare & Co. slinging copies of his favorite books, or behind the drum kit in some seedy venue around town.  He is a writer of poetry, short stories, essays and the occasional journalism. 

Harriet Alida Lye is a writer and editor living in Paris. She's the editor in chief of Her Royal Majesty, and is currently finishing her second novel. She has worked for Condé Nast, Random House, and Shakespeare and Company. 

Lex Paulson is a classicist, political adviser to emerging democracies, and fierce partisan of the literary underdog. A veteran of the first Obama campaign and adviser in the 111th Congress, he fled the DC swamps in 2011 to begin a PhD thesis on Cicero at the Sorbonne. He leads the "Citizen's Book Club" discussion group at Shakespeare & Co. and his articles on ancient philosophy and current politics can be found on the Huffington Post or at www.appliedclassics.com. 

Lola Peploe is an English actress who is living in Paris and has worked in theatre, television and film .

DD Porush is an American writer and artist living in Berlin. She indulgently splits her time between Berlin and Paris where she is helping to establish the Shakespeare & Company Archives. 

Bradford Taylor studies European Literature at University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation is about Taste and Modernism. He is also opening a wine shop and bar in his beloved Oakland. It is called The Red Whale. Check it out.

Cara Tobe is an American photographer and barista living in Paris. She is also the founder and director of a small artist collective, The Haecceity Project. (http://www.haecceityproject.com/) 

Laurel Zuckerman is the author of Sorbonne Confidential and the Editor of Paris Writers News. ( http://www.laurelzuckerman.com/paris-writer-news/ )
We would also like to thank the entire White Review team, Violante Avogadro di Vigliano from Montblanc, Julie Morstad for her illustrations, Krista Halverson for her editorial help, all the Shakespeare and Company friends and tumbleweeds and all the universities, bookstores, writing workshops, publications and organizations that helped advertise the prize.


About The Prize

The Paris Literary Prize is an international novella competition for unpublished writers. Any topic is welcome.

When the de Groot foundation came to us with the idea for the Paris Literary Prize in 2010, we immediately said yes. Shakespeare and Company has a long-standing tradition of opening its doors to aspiring writers and in keeping with that philosophy, the 10,000€ Paris Literary Prize is open to writers from around the world who have not yet published a book.

We have long been admirers of the novella, a genre which includes such classics as The Old Man and the Sea, Animal Farm, L'Étranger and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The Paris Literary Prize celebrates this small but perfectly formed genre while giving a unique opportunity to writers whose voices have not yet been heard.



There are three Paris Literary Prize awards:

The Paris Literary Prize award: 10,000 Euros
Two Paris Literary Prize Runner-up awards: 2,000 Euros each

All three winners will be invited to a weekend stay in Paris to attend the
Prize ceremony and read from their work at a special event at
Shakespeare and Company.

The winner will be given the opportunity to have a meeting, in person in London or on Skype, with jury member and literary agent Rebecca Carter of Janklow & Nesbit UK, to discuss their writing, plans for future work and routes to publication. In addition to the novella submitted for the prize, the winner can give Rebecca one other piece of work, up to novel length, for her to read before the meeting.

Last year, the winner of the Paris Literary Prize was Rosa Rankin-Gee for The Last Kings of Sark ; the two runners-up were Adam Biles for Grey Cats, and Agustin Maes for Newborn.


Selection Process & Jury

The selection process for the Paris Literary Prize occurs in two phases. First, our dedicated team of readers (numbering 12 in 2011) goes through each submission in search of exceptional stories, voices and craft and a long list of roughly 10% of entrants is then chosen for closer inspection. After many hours of reading and debate, this is again reduced to form the short list, between 10 and 15 entrants. This is where our Jury takes over, spending a month with the texts before selecting the winner and two runners-up.

To ensure the quality and diversity of the selections, each submission is considered by several readers (for instance, in 2011 each text was viewed at least five times).

The identity of all entrants is withheld throughout the process.


2012 Jury

Erica Wagner will again be chairing the jury for this year’s prize. For the list of 2011 readers and jury click here.

Erica WagnerErica Wagner is Literary Editor of The Times and writes a weekly column in the Saturday Review section of the paper. She has interviewed many of the world's leading writers. Erica's books include Gravity, a collection of short stories, and Ariel's Gift, a biographical gloss on Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters. Her novel, Seizure, was published in Britain and the US in 2007. Seizure is published in France as La Coupure by Au-delà du Raisonnable. She has judged many literary prizes; the Man Booker, the Orange Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the Forward Prize. She lives in London with her husband and son. www.ericawagner.co.uk


Rebecca CarterRebecca Carter is a literary agent with Janklow & Nesbit. She worked for fifteen years as an editor at Random House UK. As a publisher, her acquisitions were wide-ranging, from literary to more genre-led fiction, novels light and dark, for old and young, set everywhere from Afghanistan to Acton, and non-fiction in the areas of history, memoir, travel, food- and nature-writing, political and cultural polemic, often mixed together and with a strong emphasis on story.


Sylvia WitmanBorn in Paris in 1981, Sylvia Whitman was educated in Edinburgh, and studied History at University College London. She has been the manager of Shakespeare and Company in Paris since 2006, perpetuating the spirit of the legendary bookshop, founded by her father George Whitman in 1951.



Ned BeaumanNed Beauman is a British author based in London and has published two novels, Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident. Boxer, Beetle won the UK Writers' Guild Award and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction as well as being shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize. His second book, The Teleportation Accident, has been longlisted for 2012 Man Booker Prize.


Dinaw Mengestu Dinaw Mengestu is an award-winning American novelist and writer. In addition to two novels, he has written for Rolling Stone on the war in Darfur, and for Jane Magazine on the conflict in northern Uganda. His writing has also appeared in Harper's, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. In 2010, Dinaw was listed in The New Yorker's "20 under 40" writers.