BBC National Short Story Award 2016

Latest update 'This year's shortlist has been announced'

An all-female line-up has been announced for the 11th annual BBCNSSA. 


Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel, poet and author Lavinia Greenlaw, short story writer KJ Orr, Tahmima Anam and Claire-Louise Bennett have all made the shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award with BookTrust 2016.


The shortlist of five stories was announced this evening, Friday 16 September 2016, during BBC Radio 4's Front RowThe winning author will receive £15,000, the runner-up £3,000, and three further shortlisted authors £500 each.


Selected from 478 entries, this year's shortlist is:


  • 'Garments' by Tahmima Anam
  • 'Morning, Noon & Night' by Claire-Louise Bennett
  • 'The Darkest Place in England' by Lavinia Greenlaw
  • 'In a Right State' by Hilary Mantel
  • 'Disappearances' by KJ Orr


BBC National Short Story Award shortlist - KJ Orr, Tahmina Anam, Claire-Louise Bennet, Lavinia Greenlaw, Hilary Mantel


Alongside this year's BBC National Short Story Award with BookTrust shortlist and eventual winner, the BBC and BookTrust will also continue to celebrate young, emerging talent with the second BBC Young Writers' Award with BookTrust, shortlist announced on the 1 October. The winner of the Young Writers' Award will also be announced on 4 October.


BookTrust Chief Executive, Diana Gerald, says:

Working with the BBC on the BBC National Short Story Award is a fantastic way to expose a huge audience to short stories; and also find new and enthusiastic writers and readers. So we are particularly excited to expand the Award even further by running the second BBC Young Writers' Award, as it complements BookTrust's existing work with young people and encourages them to read, share and write stories. 

Key Dates:


  • From Friday 16 September: Interviews with each of the shortlisted writers will be broadcast over five weekdays on BBC Radio 4's Front Row at 7.15pm from Friday 16 to Thursday 22 September 2016.
  • Each writer's story will then be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from 3.30pm to 4.00pm from Monday 19 September and will available on BBC iPlayer Radio.
  • From Monday 19 September: To accompany the five thirty-minute readings in the afternoon the BBC has commissioned a further five new short stories from a range of talented UK writers, David Szalay, Emma Healey, Nat Segnit, Jenn Ashworth and Ned Beauman, to be broadcast in Book at Bedtime at 10.45pm from Monday 19 September.
  • Saturday 1 October, 4pm: Kei Miller, Di Speirs and Naomi Alderman will be joined by KJ Orr at the Small Wonder Charleston Festival.
  • Tuesday 4 October: The announcement of the BBC National Short Story Award 2016 with BookTrust winner and runner-up and the Young Writers' Award winner will be broadcast live from the Award ceremony on BBC Radio 4's Front Row from 7.15pm.
  • Wednesday 5 October 7.45pm: Kei Miller and Di Speirs will be joined by some of the 2016 shortlist for a panel event at the London Literature Festival, Southbank Centre to discuss 'The Future of the Short Story'.


From 17 September 2016, an anthology - The BBC National Short Story Award 2016 will be available at and all good bookshops, and as an eBook at



About the BBC National Short Story Award 2016

Celebrating the power of the short story

The BBC National Short Story Award in partnership with BookTrust is now in its eleventh 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

2015 Jonathan Buckley 'Briar Road'; runner-up Mark Haddon 'Bunny'

2014 Lionel Shriver 'Kilifi Creek'; runner-up Zadie Smith 'Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets'

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'


Download the Entry Instructions and Terms & Conditions


If you have any queries about the Award, please email or call Jenny Holder on 0207 801 8843