The BBC and Cambridge English

In 2018, the University of Cambridge partnered with BBC Radio to support the National Short Story Award, and with BBC Radio and the leading creative-writing charity, First Story, to support the Young Writers’ Award and the Student Critics’ Award. These short story awards highlight the University’s commitment to the short story form, to bringing it to a wider audience, and to encouraging creative writing and critical reading in young people across the country.

The University of Cambridge has a rich heritage of investigating storytelling for eight hundred years and producing first-rate writers including those who excel at the short story form such as AS Byatt, Helen Oyeyemi and Zadie Smith. It also has a thriving new Centre for Creative Writing, based at the Institute of Continuing Education, which sponsors the awards along with the Faculty of English, the School of Arts and Humanities, and the University Library.

National Short Story Award Logo

BBC National Short Story Award

The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University aims to promote the best in contemporary British short fiction, to expand opportunities for British writers, readers and publishers of the short story, and to honour the UK’s finest exponents of the form.

Student Critics' Award Logo

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.

Young Writers' Award Logo

Young Writers' Award

The BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University looks for the best new writing from teenagers, and aims to encourage and celebrate the next generation of short story writers.