Eley Williams (Literature: 25th Anniversary Awards, 2018)

Eley Williams

Acknowledging the precarity and intricacy of language and communication is central to the style and content of Eley Williams short-fiction writing. Her thematic concern is often with hidden or under-represented voices and she ensures her writing is placed in publications that advocate her politics such as Not Here: A Queer Anthology of Loneliness (Pilot Press, 2017) in support of LGBTQ+ writers.

Her recent focus has been on developing short pieces of fiction for her debut collection Attrib. And Other Stories (2017). Joanna Walsh, who has nominated Williams for the prize, commends her ‘fiddling with words’ and characters who ‘draw time to a standstill’. Other work includes contributing a libretto to Tom Wilson’s radical re-telling of the history of London’s Tower Bridge–Span (2016)–which was performed in the bascule chamber under the bridge.

Williams draws influence from the genre-bending work of writers like Ali Smith and Miranda July. Her editorial pursuits, including 3:AM Magazine and Jungftak, reflect this influence, providing platforms for writers to push the expectations of short fiction.