BBC National Short Story Award 2014

Latest update 'The shortlist for 2014 has been announced'

The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award 2014 in partnership with Booktrust has been announced. 

In the third all-female shortlist in nine years, five writers tackle pivotal moments in a woman's life from girlhood to middle age, including sex and love, death and disintegration. 


Transporting readers across the world from New York to Kenya, London to Paris, and to a Welsh seaside town, the stories feature a gap-year student who cheats death; a performer coming to terms with middle age, a disappointed lover; and two young girls whose eyes are opened to a more complicated adult world.


This year's shortlist is:




Alan Yentob, Chair of Judges commented: 

'The enthusiasm of writers, both established and emerging, is very much in evidence in this, the ninth BBC National Short Story Award. With the quality and diversity of the work submitted, it has been a pleasure and a challenge to serve as this year's Chair. Choosing just five stories for our shortlist has been no mean feat, but I am delighted that we have been able to present such a rich and varied selection. The short story form has a unique ability to capture a single defining moment. It invites us to dive headfirst into another world and to savour an experience which can remain with us for a very long time to come. In their very different ways these five stories do just that.'


The winner and runner-up of this year's Award will be announced at a ceremony held in BBC Broadcasting House's Radio Theatre on Tuesday 30 September 2014, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Front Row. During the live edition of Front Row, presenter John Wilson will be in conversation with acclaimed writer Hilary Mantel, as part of a programme celebrating the short story.


The BBC National Short Story Award 2014 anthology introduced by Alan Yentob and published by Comma Press is available to buy and all good bookshops, and as an e-book.


An interview with each of the shortlisted writers will be broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4's Front Row from Friday 19 September. Five top actors, including Carey Mulligan and Rebecca Hall, will then read one of the shortlisted stories, broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4 at 3.30pm from Monday 22 September. Each story will also be available as a free download from the day of broadcast for 30 days.


And as Radio 4 celebrates the new shortlist there will also be a chance to hear last year's five shortlisted stories at 2pm on Radio 4 Extra each day in the same week. Meanwhile, on BBC Arts - Books at the BBC, there will be links to a selection of popular stories broadcast across BBC Radio in the last few years - from William Trevor to Alice Munro there are great examples of the finest contemporary writers in this genre and more ideas about where to look and listen for inspiration. 


The BBC National Short Story Award 2014 will be at the Small Wonder festival with a panel event at 4pm on Saturday 27 September, featuring Di Speirs, Philip Gwyn Jones, Tessa Hadley and Lionel Shriver. Tickets are available for the event.

For updates on the Award follow #bbcnssa and @Booktrust on Twitter.


All queries about the Award should be directed to  



The 2014 judges are:


  • Chair of the panel, Alan Yentob, BBC Creative Director and presenter
  • Philip Gwyn Jones, Editor-at Large, Scribe Publications
  • Laura Dockrill, writer, illustrator and performer
  • Poet and novelist, Adam Foulds
  • Di Speirs, Editor, Books, BBC Radio
  • Laura Dockrill

    Author, Illustrator and Performer

About the BBC National Short Story Award 2014

Celebrating the power of the short story

The BBC National Short Story Award in partnership with Booktrust is now in its ninth year. It is one of the most prestigious Awards for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, the runner-up £3,000 and three further shortlisted authors £500 each.


The Award continues to serve as a reminder of the power of the short story and to celebrate a literary form that is proving ever more versatile in the 21st century. It can now be enjoyed not just on the page, on air and increasingly on every sort of screen as well as in flash fiction events, short story festivals and slams. The ambition of both the Award and Booktrust's short story content is to expand opportunities for British writers, readers and publishers of the short story. BBC Radio 4 is the world's biggest single commissioner of short stories with short stories broadcast every week attracting more than a million listeners.


For updates on the Award follow #bbcnssa and @Booktrust on Twitter.


Previous winners

2013 Sarah Hall 'Mrs Fox'; runner-up Lucy Wood 'Notes from the House Spirits'

2012 Miroslav Penkov 'East of the West'; runner-up Henrietta Rose-Innes 'Sanctuary'

2011 D W Wilson 'The Dead Roads'; runner-up Jon McGregor 'Wires'

2010 David Constantine 'Tea at the Midland'; runner-up Jon McGregor 'If It Keeps On Raining'

2009 Kate Clanchy 'The Not-Dead and the Saved'; runner-up Sara Maitland 'Moss Witch

2008 Clare Wigfall 'The Numbers'; runner-up Jane Gardam 'The People on Privilege Hill'

2007 Julian Gough 'The Orphan and the Mob'; runner-up David Almond 'Slog's Dad'

2006 James Lasdun 'An Anxious Man'; runner-up Michel Faber 'The Safehouse'

The BBC National Short Story Award was open to entries from Thursday 12 December 2013 until 5pm (GMT) on Friday 28 February 2014.


The Entry Instructions and Terms & Conditions are available below for reference.


Download the Entry Instructions and Terms & Conditions


If you have any queries about the award, please email or call Hannah Davies on 020 8875 4838