Success for Lionel Shriver as she wins BBC National Short Story Award 2014
Lionel Shriver has won the BBC National Short Story Award 2014 for her story 'Kilifi Creek'.
This was the third time Shriver had been shortlisted for the Award, and this evening she picked up the main prize of £15,000 at the ceremony held in the BBC's Radio Theatre in London. She was presented with her cheque by this year's Chair of Judges, Alan Yentob, as the news was announced live on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, during a special programme celebrating the short story; Zadie Smith was selected as runner-up
Chair of judges and BBC Creative Director and presenter, Alan Yentob, said:
From a fantastic shortlist, Lionel Shriver's 'Kilifi Creek' stood out as a wonderful evocation of life in miniature, crossing continents and generations. She is a worthy and deserved winner in an exciting year when the short story has taken centre stage. Shriver proves that short really is sweet and it's never been sweeter than now.
Lionel is best known for the New York Times bestsellers So Much for That and The Post-Birthday World, as well as the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. She is also an accomplished short story writer, having made the BBC National Short Story Award shortlist in both 2009 and 2013. When asked about tackling short stories rather than novels, she said:
I love working in a form that doesn't consume a couple of years. Ironically, low temporal risk can facilitate high-risk style and content. In a short story, you can try anything.
Zadie Smith was selected as this year's runner-up, receiving £3,000 for her story 'Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets' in which an ageing American performer comes face-to-face with a multitude of resentments while buying undergarments on the East Side of New York City. It was first published in the Paris Review earlier this year.
The three other shortlisted authors, Tessa Hadley, Francesca Rhydderch and Rose Tremain, received £500.
To celebrate the Award's 10th anniversary in 2015, the BBC and Book Trust are expanding their partnership to launch the brand new BBC Young Writer's Award with Book Trust. The inaugural BBC Young Writer's Award will launch in December alongside the BBC National Short Story Award 2015. It will invite young writers, aged 14 to 18 to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words. A shortlist of five writers will be announced in autumn 2015. The winner, who will see their story broadcast on air and receive a mentoring session with an adult writer, will be celebrated at the annual BBC National Short Story Award ceremony.
Viv Bird, Chief Executive, Book Trust, commented:
After nine successful years working together with the BBC on the BBC National Short Story Award, we are delighted to be extending our partnership to launch a brand new award for writers aged 14-18 to coincide with the 10th anniversary. The BBC Young Writer's Award will complement our existing work with schools and young people to encourage them to read, share and write stories, and enable us to inspire a new generation of writers to follow in the footsteps of our 2014 winner Lionel Shriver, to whom I'd like to give my sincere congratulations.