BBC National Short Story Award 2014
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:
- Bad Dreams by Tessa Hadley
- The Taxidermist's Daughter by Francesca Rhydderch
- Kilifi Creek by Lionel Shriver
- Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets by Zadie Smith
- The American Lover by Rose Tremain
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.
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.
All queries about the Award should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
PresenterAlan Yentob (Chair)Presenter
Alan Yentob is the Creative Director of the BBC and Editor and Presenter of the Imagine programme. A celebrated and award-winning programme maker, Alan joined the BBC as a general trainee in 1968, taking his first job in the World Service. From 1973 to 1975 he was a producer/director with Omnibus, where his films famously included Cracked Actor: David Bowie. In 1978 he created the mould-breaking arts series Arena, and was Editor until 1985.
In 1985 Alan became Head of Music and Arts and stayed in the post until 1988 when he was appointed Controller of BBC Two. Under his five-year stewardship BBC Two was revitalised and introduced many innovations in programming including The Late Show, Have I Got News For You?, Absolutely Fabulous and Wallace and Gromit's The Wrong Trousers.
Alan was appointed Controller of BBC One in 1993. He became Director of Programmes in 1997, then Director of Television in 1998. In June 2004 he became the BBC's Creative Director. His outside responsibilities include Chair of the Trustees of the children's charity Kids Company.
EditorPhilip Gwyn JonesEditor
Philip Gwyn Jones was born and educated in Cardiff, Wales, before studying English and History at the University of York, graduating in 1987. He has been an editor and publisher of books since 1989, and has always loved and championed the short story form. He is immensely proud to have been the very first UK publisher to have offered a book contract to Katherine Boo, Anna Burns, Eleanor Catton, Jenny Erpenbeck, Naomi Klein, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sam Lipsyte, Ben Marcus, Magnus Mills, Patrick Ness, Arundhati Roy, Lionel Shriver, Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, Tommy Wieringa and Louisa Young, amongst others.
He was Publisher of Flamingo, then of Granta and Portobello Books. He is now Editor-at-Large at Scribe Publications, a Trustee of the Royal Literary Fund and of English PEN, and a writer and lecturer on the literary economy. He lives in south-west London and is married with two children.
Author, Illustrator and PerformerLaura DockrillAuthor, Illustrator and Performer
Laura Dockrill is an author, illustrator and performer who was named one of the top ten literary talents by The Times. Her adult books include Mistakes in the Background, Ugly Shy Girl and Echoes. Her debut children's book, Darcy Burdock, which is the first in a series, was published by Random House in 2013 and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and has recently been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2014.
Laura performed at all of the major literature and children's festivals in 2013 including The Imagine Festival, Edinburgh, Hay, Camp Bestival, Carfest, Pop-Up and Latitude. She was online writer in residence for Booktrust from June to December 2013 and has been a judge and ambassador for the Anti-Bullying Alliance. Laura has been commissioned and appeared on all respective radio channels from 1-6, including Radio One and Radio 4's Woman's Hour and has read her work on Newsnight, BBC Breakfast, CBBC and Channel 4.
Poet & NovelistAdam FouldsPoet & Novelist
Adam Foulds is a poet and novelist from London. He studied English Literature at Oxford University and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He has published three novels and a narrative poem and has been the recipient of a number of literary awards, including the Sunday Times Young Writer Of The Year, the Costa Poetry Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the South Bank Show Prize for Literature, the Encore Award, the European Union Prize For Literature and the E M Forster Award. His novel, The Quickening Maze, was shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2010. His latest novel, In The Wolf's Mouth, was published in February 2014.
Di Speirs worked in theatre and for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation before joining the BBC. She edited the Woman's Hour serial for three years, produced the first ever Book of the Week, and has directed many Book at Bedtimes as well as dramas. She is now Editor, Books, leading the London Readings team and editing Open Book and Book Club on BBC Radio 4 and World Book Club on the BBC World Service.
A long-time advocate for the formidable power of the short story, she has been instrumental in the BBC National Short Story Award since its inception nine years ago and is a regular judge on the panel. She was also a judge of the 2008 Asham Award, Chair of the Orange Award for New Writing 2010 and a nominator for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative (Literature) 2011-13.
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.
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.
If you have any queries about the award, please email email@example.com or call Hannah Davies on 020 8875 4838