THE STORY PLAYERSep 2, 2021
‘After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world’ – Philip Pullman, British author.
Since 2016 the Mogford Prize has partnered with The Story Player, the online home of audio stories that streams the best published and up-and-coming UK writing talent. Between ten and twenty minutes’ duration, the stories encompass a variety of genres that include mystery, thriller and comedy.
The Story Player was launched in 2011 by publisher and audio producer Ian Skillicorn as part of National Short Story Week celebrations. It was the collaboration of a group of audio producers, authors and actors, with input from the Royal Society of Literature and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Authors have included Martina Devlin (winner of the Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett Prize and a Hennessy Literary Prize, also shortlisted twice for the Irish Book Awards) and Jon McGregor (winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and twice longlisted for the Man Booker Prize). Narrators have included actors from the stage, film, television and radio, including The Archers, Casualty, Neighbours and many BBC radio readings.
This collaboration came about after Dr Melanie Whipman alerted founder of the prize Jeremy Mogford to the benefits of audio books. One of the many strings to Melanie’s bow was working as commissioning editor for The Story Player. It did not take much persuasion for Jeremy and the Mogford Prize team to hire her to convert each winning story into an audio version.
Melanie has published numerous short stories and poems in magazines and anthologies. Her debut book, Llama Sutra, was broadcast on Radio 4, won the Rubery International Short Fiction Prize, and was a contender for the Edgehill Prize. Melanie has an MA and a PhD in English and Creative Writing, and when she’s not writing she lectures at Chichester University and runs workshops across the country.