Thursday, 12 January 2017

12 th BBC National Short Story Award

Calling all published writers!

Do you have a short story to tell?

Joanna Trollope

It’s the 12th year of the BBC National Short Story Award and No.1 bestselling author Joanna Trollope will chair the judging panel for 2017. Trollope, known as one of the most insightful chroniclers and social commentators writing today, is also a long-time short story writer. Her eagerly anticipated 20th novel, City of Friends, will be published in February 2017.

Joining her on the panel will be a formidable line-up of writers who are prizewinners themselves: Eimear McBride (Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction); short story writer and academic Jon McGregor (IMPAC Award); Sunjeev Sahota (Encore Award); and returning judge Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.

All the judges are eager to read the best, and most innovative, works of short fiction from new and established writers. Last year’s winner was K J Orr for her story ‘Disappearances’, with previous alumni including Lionel Shriver, Zadie Smith, Hilary Mantel and William Trevor.

The timetable

The BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, and four further shortlisted authors £600 each. The 2017 Award is open to UK residents or nationals, aged 18 or over, who have a history of publication in creative writing. The full Terms and Conditions will be available and submissions accepted online at from 9 am Thursday 26 January 2017. The deadline for receipt of entries is 9 am 
Monday 6 March 2017.

Encouragement from the judges

Joanne Trollope says: "It’s an enormous pleasure and honour to be chairing the BBC National Short Story Award for 2017. I am a huge fan of the short story as a genre, not least because it manages to create such a peculiarly intimate relationship between writer and reader, and I believe that relationship to be immensely important to good writing. There is nothing like a short story, really, to humanise literature, from the greats of the past – Chekhov, de Maupassant, William Trevor – to the greats of the present. It is wonderful to see the genre revive as it has, in no small part thanks to awards like this one. And the revival has revealed many hitherto unknown talents in this far from easy, if rewarding, genre. I look forward so much to reading the entries for 2017 – who knows what we will discover?”

Di Speirs, Editor of Books at BBC Radio and judge of the Award since its inception, says, "I’m hugely excited about the twelfth BBC National Short Story Award – we have a wonderful panel of judges and given the great discoveries and delights of past years, I confidently predict there will be a huge range of stories, inspirational, entertaining and challenging, in our reading pile. I am really looking forward to reading authors new and old, and to bringing their work to BBC Radio 4’s eager audience of short story lovers.”

What happens next?

The shortlist will be announced on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row at 7.15pm on Friday 15 September 2017 (subject to change). Readings of the shortlisted stories will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 18 to Friday 22 September and the stories will be published in an Award anthology published by Comma Press. Interviews with the shortlisted writers will air from Friday 15 September 2017 on Front Row. The announcement of the BBC National Short Story Award 2017 with BookTrust winner will be broadcast live from the Award ceremony on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from 7.15pm on Tuesday 3 October 2017.

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