When finalising our shortlist for Pick of the Month for November 2020, the one thing that we could concur on was what ‘a cracking month’ it had been (in terms of IS&T poetry if nothing else!). The current crisis, both its beginning and end, features in Jay Whittaker‘s ‘In the first days of lockdown’ and Hanne Larsson‘s flash fiction ‘When this is all over…’ A sense of our own vulnerability echoes in both ‘Conversations with the Doctor’ and ‘The new doctor’ from, respectively, Sophie Fenella and Claire Sexton, while Mariam Saidan speaks of loneliness in ‘Lies’ and John Rogers the sadness and frustration of being faced with ‘Please accept our apologies’.

All six of the shortlist have been chosen by Helen or Kate or received the most attention on social media. They can be found below or by clicking on ‘Vote for Your November 2020 Pick of the Month′ in the Categories list to your right on the screen.

Please VOTE HERE. Voting will close on Monday 14th December at 9pm.

For the coronavirus period, our normal Pick ‘prize’ of £10 towards the charity of your choice or a National Book Token will rise to £30*. Charities and booksellers, both, have been hit hard by the shutdown and we wanted to make a (admittedly very small) gesture of support.


*Book tokens can only be used within the UK and will be divided between £20 for the winning writer and a £10 token for the person of their choice. Sadly, we are unable to find suitable cost-effective alternatives outside the UK.