2022 National Short Story Award Shortlist Announced

Meet the Shortlist 2022 KERRY ANDREW Photo credit: Julia Hawkins Kerry Andrew is a composer, performer and author and the winner of four British Composer Awards. Kerry’s debut novel, Swansong, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2018, and a second novel, SKIN, was published in 2021. Kerry was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story […]

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2023 NSSA Shortlist Announced!

International Voices Celebrated as 18th BBC National Short Story Award Shortlist Presents New Perspectives on Migration, Climate Catastrophe and 21st Century Life The 2023 BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (BBC NSSA) shortlist was announced this evening, Thursday 7 September 2023, on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. The shortlist features writers from across […]

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The 2023 BBC NSSA and YWA Awards – Submissions Open!

The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) and BBC Young Writers’ Award with Cambridge University (YWA) open for submissions Thursday 12 January 2023 at 9am with BBC News journalist and presenter Reeta Chakrabarti chairing the judging panel for the BBC NSSA’s 18th year. Reeta Chakrabarti, Chair of the 2023 BBC National Short […]

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National Short Story Awards 2022 Winner Announced: Saba Sams

Saba Sams wins 17th BBC National Short Story Award for Debut Story Celebrating the Power and Agency of Youth Saba Sams has won the seventeenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) with ‘Blue 4eva’, a story about sexual identity, agency, power and class, taken from her debut collection, Send Nudes. Sams was […]

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National Short Story Award 2022 – Meet the Judges

Meet the Judges for 2022 Elizabeth Day (Chair of Judges) Elizabeth Day is an award-winning author and broadcaster. Her debut novel Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award and her fifth novel, Magpie, published last September, became an instant Sunday Times bestseller. Her chart-topping podcast, How To Fail, a celebration of the things that haven’t gone right, has […]

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BBC National Short Story Award Winner Announced: Lucy Caldwell

Three-time nominated Lucy Caldwell has won the sixteenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) with ‘All the People Were Mean and Bad’, a story taken from her 2021 collection, Intimacies. The news was announced live on BBC Front Row this evening (Tuesday 19 October) by 2021 Chair of Judges, James Runcie. Caldwell, […]

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Winner of the BBC National Short Story Award: Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall Becomes First Writer to Win
BBC National Short Story Award Twice

Twice nominated for the Man Booker Prize, Sarah Hall previously won the BBC NSSA award in 2013 for ‘Mrs Fox’. She was further shortlisted in 2010 and 2018. The award-winning author of five novels and three short-story collections, she was born in Cumbria and lives in Norwich.

Hall beat stiff competition from an extremely strong shortlist that included established and new voices, comprised of: 26 year old British-Ghanaian writer and photographer Caleb Azumah Nelson whose eagerly anticipated debut novel Open Water is released in 2021; James Tait Black Prize winner Eley Williams; poet and newcomer Jack Houston and EU Prize for Literature for Ireland 2019 winner Jan Carson.

This years’ judging panel was chaired by journalist and author Jonathan Freedland and included Commonwealth Prize winner Lucy Caldwell, who was shortlisted for both the 2012 and 2019 BBC NSSA; British-Nigerian writer Irenosen Okojie, a Betty Trask and Caine Prize winner; Edge Hill Prize shortlistee and Guardian short story columnist Chris Power; and returning judge Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Audio. 

Established in 2005, the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was originally established to highlight a literary genre regarded as undervalued and under threat. Its aim was to recognise and celebrate the very best writers of short fiction who had no prize equivalent to major literary awards like the Man Booker Prize. 15 years on, the short story is in robust health and the BBC National Short Story Award is recognised as the most prestigious for a single short story with the winning writer receiving £15,000 and the four shortlisted writers £600 each.

Dr Midge Gillies, Academic Director, Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, said:
“Sarah Hall’s unsettling short story takes a good, hard look at power structures and inequalities – not just in the fascinating mother/daughter relationship at the heart of ‘The Grotesques’ – but in the wider associations between the homeless and the entitled in an ancient university city. As a second-time winner, Sarah Hall proves, again, how adept she is at introducing us to fascinating new characters and the strange worlds they inhabit.”

Alongside the BBC NSSA, BBC Front Row also announced the sixth annual BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University, an award created to inspire and encourage the next generation of short story writers. Open to 13–18 year olds at the time of entry, it is a cross-network collaboration between BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 1. The award was won by Lottie Mills, 19, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire for ‘The Changeling’. Lottie was previously shortlisted for the BBC YWA in 2018. Her story is also available on BBC Sounds.

2020 BBC Young Writers’ Award shortlist revealed

After months of waiting, the deeply impressive shortlist for the 2020 BBC Young Writers’ Award, with First Story and Cambridge University, has been announced on BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks. The five shortlisted writers are: ‘Winds that Travel Across’ by Maleeha Faruki, 18, from Leicester‘Three Pomegranate Seeds’ by Mei Kawagoe, 15, from Leicestershire‘Bingo Tuesdays’ by […]

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