Sarah Hall Nominated for Fourth Time as 15th BBC National Short Story Award Reveals Bold, Experimental Shortlist Celebrating a Generation of Voices #BBCNSSA #ShortStories BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2020 shortlist is: ‘Pray’ by Caleb Azumah Nelson ‘In The Car With the Rain Coming Down’ by Jan Carson ‘The Grotesques’ by Sarah Hall ‘Come Down Heavy’ by Jack Houston ‘Scrimshaw’ by Eley Williams The BBC National Short Story Award is one of the […]

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National Short Story Award Winner

WELSH WRITER JO LLOYD WINS THE 2019 BBC NATIONAL SHORT STORY AWARD WITH ‘TIMELESS’ AND ‘DEEPLY TENDER’ STORY INFLUENCED BY BREXIT, SOCIAL DIVISION AND FOLKLORE Welsh writer Jo Lloyd has won the fourteenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019 (NSSA) for ‘The Invisible’, a distinctive and compellingly original story. Inspired by the […]

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Four Cambridge University Lecturers discuss a short story

Six yards in front stood the blazing building. A minute before I would never have distinguished it from any other drab Victorian atrocity happily on fire. Now I was immediately certain of every minute detail. –William Sansom, ‘The Wall’ (1941) William Sansom was a short story writer and firefighter during the London Blitz. In these […]

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BBC Student Critics’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University

Dean Atta at Barking & Dagenham College for the 2018 Student Critics’ Award

The BBC Student Critics’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University celebrates the written word by encouraging students to read critically, foster skills in literary criticism, and to build confidence.

Aimed at 16-18 year olds, selected students flex their critical muscles as they read, discuss and critique the five stories shortlisted for the prestigious BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University.

“I really, really liked the discussion – the teacher was one of us, rather than telling us” – Participating student from the BBC Student Critics’ Award 2018.

2018 saw 600 16 – 18-year-old students from 40 schools, and for 2019, this activity is being extended to encourage wider community link-ups between schools, colleges, libraries and bookshops around the UK.

Inaayat Hashim, Head of English at Pocklington School, York, led a group of sixth-formers in 2018 and said,
“This was such a tonic for students who have been jaded by public examination and sedated by a summer holiday. It energised them and imbued them with a vigour for academic debate that we are still running off weeks later.”

Each group selected receives a teaching resource for the short story which includes creative cross-curricular activity ideas; copies of the official BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University Anthology; a bespoke discussion guide for the five stories shortlisted for that year’s award and the possibility of live or online interactions with writers, judges, First Story Patrons and staff and students from Cambridge University Faculty of English, and a certificate for the group.

Please note that the shortlisted stories for the BBC National Short Story Award may contain adult themes.

Ingrid Persaud, winner of 2018 BBC National Short Story Award, talking to students at Walworth College

What are young people writing and reading?, BBC Radio 4 Live from the Edinburgh Book Festival

In a special programme from the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Mariella Frostrup and guests discuss what today’s young people are writing and reading. Joining Mariella on the panel are Patrice Lawrence, award-winning YA author of Orange Boy and most recently Rose, Interrupted, Laura Waddell, UK Publishing Director of Tramp Press, William Sutcliffe who’s just published […]

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University Library Young Writers’ Award Digital Archive

  The Cambridge University Library has created a unique virtual treasure trove of books, manuscripts and objects to provide a spark of inspiration for writers considering entering the BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University. The items in the inspiration gallery cover a variety of times, places, authors and subjects. Some are objects which can […]

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2018 Award Ceremony, Front Row

The 2018 Award Ceremony was broadcast live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from West Road Concert Hall at the University of Cambridge. The winner of the 2018 BBC National Short Story Award and the Young Writers’ Award was announced in a programme celebrating the power and possibilities of the short story. In the programme, […]

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14th BBC National Short Story Award Shortlist Inspired By #MeToo, Trump and Discrimination

Award-winning writer Lucy Caldwell joined by former bookseller Lynda Clark, charity worker Jacqueline Crooks, and new voices Tamsin Grey and Jo Lloyd to complete shortlist of writers exploring sexual politics, intolerance, community and immigration.  Lucy Caldwell, multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and short story writer, has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge […]

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