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2019 Berlin Writing Prize: On Bears: A Constellation by Sarah Van Bonn (Shortlist)

Synopsis
Fact. Bears can swim. Indeed, bears are excellent swimmers. Legend. The Ojibwa tribe native to America’s Great Lakes tells of Mishe Mokwa, a mother bear who lived with her two cubs on land that’s now Wisconsin. One day, the bears’ forest caught fire: a raging blaze that drove them to land’s edge, where woods meet water.

2019 Berlin Writing Prize: One In Eight by Hannah Harper (Shortlist)

Synopsis
“That’s a wrap,” she said. “Now I do you.” She stretched out her arm and made grabbing motions with her fingers at the phone in my hand. Her nails were long and hard, painted gunmetal grey. If she made a fist, they’d slice open her palm. “Gimme gimme gimme.” My own nails were stubby and unpolished.

2019 Berlin Writing Prize: The Plumage by Avrina Prabala-Joslin (Shortlist)

Synopsis
Janvi and I sit in my tree house watching Husu aunty and Leela ma stitch peacock feathers into our coats for the mela. It’s plumage for our peacock dance. Janvi and I will be peacocks at the town mela, the best role anyone in our neighbourhood can get. The stitching looks easy but they won’t let us do it.

2019 Berlin Writing Prize: Threshold by Angela Hughes (Shortlist)

Synopsis
Exact time eludes me. Darkness has an early morning shallowness; a sense of dissipation. Beside me Paul sleeps, his snoring the bassline to the awakening of the day: rain drums on the van roof and somewhere beyond, the intermittent bark of a dog in a two-four rhythm. I roll on to my back, free my arm and reach to touch the left side of my neck. A morning routine, to check whether my carotid artery is distended.

2019 Berlin Writing Prize: Ventimiglia by Nicholas Ruddock (Shortlist)

Synopsis
The two strongmen set out twenty minutes before dawn, stepping down from their caravan, weaving between horses, between cooking fires smoldering from the night before, past sleeping elephants, cages of large cats curtained against disturbance, the bear in his wagon shifting his weight, various serpents lolling from trees, Peruvian fruit bats ghosting after insects…

A Form of Chinese Whispers (of Sorts) by Ambika Thompson

Synopsis
You tell someone something and then immediately regret it…

A Monkey On A Horse by James Carson

Synopsis
James Carson reads from his fantastic story ‘A Monkey on a Horse’. James came all the way from Scotland to take part in the book launch of our Streets of Berlin anthology. He really read beautifully, you’re in for a treat. We’re sorry about the sound quality, but get 50 people in a cellar and things get a bit crackly.
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