Gwendoline Christie reading Sunbed by Sophie Ward

11 July 2018

Gwendoline Christie presented Sophie Ward with the RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award for her superb short story, Sunbed, followed by a live performance of the winning story in the new Benjamin West Theatre.

About Gwendoline Christie

Gwendoline is one of Britain’s most exciting actresses, perhaps best known for portraying the warrior Brienne of Tarth in the HBO series Game of Thrones since 2012, and the First Order Stormtrooper Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).  In 2019, she received critical acclaim for her outstanding performance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream  at The Bridge Theatre in London and the National Theatre Live.

About Sophie Ward

Sophie Ward is an acclaimed actor and writer from North London. Her short stories have been published in the anthologies, Finding A Voice, Book of Numbers and The Spiral Path, and The Gold Room. Her novel, Love and Other Thought Experiments was published in February 2020, and her first book, A Marriage Proposal; the importance of equal marriage and what it means for all of us was published by The Guardian short books in 2014. She has published articles in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Spectator, Diva and Red magazine.

About the Award

The RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award is an annual non-profit, open-submission writing prize, staged by Pin Drop Studio in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts. It offers a platform for new writing open to published and unpublished writers from anywhere across the globe to showcase their short fiction. Past winners include Bethan Roberts, Claire Fuller and Cherise Saywell for their extraordinary stories, which have been narrated for our podcast series here by Stephen Fry, Juliet Stevenson and Dame Penelope Wilton.

Many stories discovered the award are included A Short Affair, Pin Drop’s first anthology of original short fiction edited by Simon Oldfield.  It features bestselling authors alongside past winners and shortlisted stories from the award with artworks by artists from the Royal Academy of Arts.

The Shortlist

David Butler, Scorched Earth

Nat Luurtsema, Howling Pack of Undesirables

Niamh MacCabe, Steer the Dark Skies Blue

Anthony Quinn, Trick Bag

Stefanie Seddon, Breaking Horses in Waiuta

Kathryn Simmonds, The Social Smoker

Stuart Snelson, Space Invaders

Maria Thomas, Lucky

Sophie Ward, Sunbed

Asif Zubairy, Playing God

Now in its fourth year, the RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award

Supported by Stonehage Fleming. Photos by Matt Holyoak and Owen Richards.