BBC National Short Story Award 2008

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  • 'The Numbers'

    by Clare Wigfall

The winner was Clare Wigfall for her story 'The Numbers' and the runner-up was Jane Gardam for her story 'The People on Privilege Hill'.

Clare received £15,000 for her story and Jane Gardam £3,000 for hers at a ceremony in London on 14 July 2008. The three remaining authors on the shortlist – Richard Beard, Erin Soros and Adam Thorpe – received £500.

Announcing the winners, Chair of the judges, broadcaster and writer Martha Kearney, said:

It's exciting that a relatively unknown voice, in fact the youngest writer on our shortlist, has distinguished herself amongst some very well known authors as a leading talent in the world of storytelling.

Clare’s evocation of superstition and frustrated lives on a remote Scottish island is an act of historical ventriloquism. She shows just what the short story can achieve, conjuring up a whole world through a microcosm.

The strength of our shortlist ranging from the gothic to the comic demonstrates that the short story is alive and well, the perfect art form for a time hungry age.


  • 'Guidelines for Measures to Cope with Disgraceful and Other Events'

    by Richard Beard
  • 'The People on Privilege Hill'

    by Jane Gardam
  • 'Surge'

    by Erin Soros
  • 'The Names'

    by Adam Thorpe

Download and read the shortlisted stories for free! Click on the story name, and right-click to save the story to your desktop.



About the BBC National Short Story Award 2008

For updates on the Award follow #bbcnssa on Twitter.


Previous winners

2016 Orr 'Disappearances'; runner-up Claire-Louise Bennet 'Morning, Noon & Night'

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'

Please go to for more information on the BBC National Short Story Award.


Terms and conditions for the 2017 Award are available from 26 January 2017, until the deadline of 6 March 2017.