BBC National Short Story Award 2017

Celebrating the power of the short story

The BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious prizes for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000 and four further shortlisted authors £600 each.

Welsh novelist and TV scriptwriter, Cynan Jones, was announced as the year's winner, for his story ‘The Edge of the Shoal', described by writer and judge, Jon McGregor as a ‘genuinely thrilling’ piece of writing with ‘a completeness of vision and execution that made it an inevitable winner'.

Cynan Jones was presented with the £15,000 prize by the 2017 Chair of Judges, Joanna Trollope, at a ceremony held in the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London  (Tuesday 3 October).

Find out about the  2017 shortlist.

Please see for more information on the BBC National Short Story Award and this year's shortlist and winner, or use the hashtag #bbcnssa on Twitter.


The BBC National Short Story Award 2017 with BookTrust has appointed Joanna Trollope - who recently published her 20th novel - to chair this year's judging panel.

She will be joined by A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing author Eimear McBride, short story writer and academic Jon McGregor, Encore Award winner Sunjeev Sahota and BBC Radio's books editor Di Speirs.

You can read the BBC National Short Story Award 2017 judges announcement press release here.

In previous years, the judging panel has included stars such as Woman's Hour presenter Jenni Murray, author Pat Barker, Inspector Rebus creator Ian Rankin, broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and musician Will Young.

New partners from 2018

The University of Cambridge and First Story have been announced as the two new partners for the BBC National Short Story Award, the BBC Young Writers’ Award and the BBC Student Critics’ Award, in a three-year collaboration starting from 2018. These two new partners will replace BookTrust who have been the valued partner on both awards, working with the BBC since 2006.

Previous years

KJ Orr won the 2016 BBC National Short Story Award with her piece 'Disappearances', which follows a retired plastic surgeon who develops a relationship with a local waitress.

KJ Orr

Surprised by his own desire to create a new identity, his plans are thwarted when two women from his past disrupt his new world. Caught off guard, the tension between the life he led and this desire to create a new identity is a pivotal moment.

Claire-Louise Bennett, also a debut writer, was selected as the 2016 runner-up and received £3,000 for her story 'Morning, Noon & Night', while the three other shortlisted authors - Lavinia Greenlaw, Hilary Mantel and Tahmima Anam - received £500 each.

Former winners and runners-up in the BBC National Short Story Award are as follows:

  • 2016: KJ Orr, 'Disappearances', runner-up Claire-Louise Bennett, '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: DW 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 Michael Faber, 'The Safehouse'

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