Jonathan Buckley wins 2015's BBC National Short Story Award with Book Trust
Jonathan Buckley's 'Briar Road', a story about a psychic investigates the case of a missing teenager has won the 10th annual Award, with Mark Haddon's 'Bunny' runner-up.
Jonathan was presented with the prize of £15,000 by this year's Chair of Judges Allan Little at a ceremony held in the BBC's Radio Theatre in London. The news was announced live on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, during a special programme celebrating the short story and featuring William Boyd.
Mark Haddon was selected as the runner-up and received £3,000 for his story 'Bunny'. The three other shortlisted authors, Frances Leviston,
Hilary Mantel and Jeremy Page, received £500.
This is the first time Jonathan Buckley, a writer who is 'consistently overlooked for prizes' (Guardian), was shortlisted for the Award, something he described as 'a huge and delightful surprise'.
Chair of Judges Allan Little commented:
Jonathan Buckley's 'Briar Road' is a quiet intriguing mystery and focuses on a single moment in the life of one family who have turned to a spiritualist after their teenage daughter has disappeared. The prose is understated, stark and plain. The intrigue builds as key details are revealed slowly, hinted at and suggested rather than spelled out. It is a haunting evocation of the tensions between family members at a moment of unbearable loss borne, the outward calm masking the turmoil into which the family has been swept
In addition, this year 21 schools and nearly 500 16 to 18 year-old students across the UK took part in Student Choice, which involves reading the BBC National Short Story Award 2015 shortlist and choosing their own winner. This year's Student Choice winner was 'Bunny' by Mark Haddon.
Diana Gerald, Chief Executive, Book Trust, commented:
Working with the 21 schools that took part in Student Choice has been heart-warming; the students have been delighted to discover new contemporary writers and debate their opinions on the five shortlisted stories. I think it's a testament to the success of this project that we've already been inundated with requests from schools wanting to get involved next year. I would also like to extend our sincere congratulations to Brennig Davies for winning this year's Young Writers' Award.
2015 marks the tenth year of the BBC National Short Story Award. Over the decade the Award has seen 55 shortlisted stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in the annual anthology.