Page last updated at 21:59 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

New Zealand author Stead wins short story prize

CK Stead
CK Stead was awarded New Zealand's highest honour in 2007

New Zealand writer CK Stead has scooped the first Sunday Times short story award worth £25,000.

The 77-year-old author won for Last Season's Man, a story with a bittersweet ending set in Croatia.

Stead said he was "immensely grateful and pleased" to have won, and praised the recognition the new prize gives to the short story.

The judges of the award included novelists AS Byatt, Hanif Kureishi and Nick Hornby.

Kureishi said the winning story was a "pleasure to read" and "a fine example of how a short story should be constructed and written".

"It is a dignified and apt choice for the first occasion of the prize," he added.

Last Season's Man tells the tale of a young writer who writes a critical article about a much respected older author, causing ripples in the intellectual community.

The winning story, which emerged from an initial field of 1,152 contenders, will be published in this weekend's Sunday Times.

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