The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award, one of the most prestigious (and richest) awards given to a single short story in the UK, was announced today on BBC Radio 4.
“I am inordinately proud of this year’s shortlist—it’s sharp, relevant, sometimes heart-rending, sometimes funny,” said judge Di Speirs, Editor of Books at BBC Audio in a press release. “If we set out 15 years ago to help save the short story, what this year’s writers prove is that in 2020 it is rude health and more versatile and flexible than ever. From what is practically but perfectly miniaturized flash fiction, to the fully literary and layered, via bold new voices tackling tough realities and incisive humor within domestic tensions, this list reflects a generation of writers playing with form, range and the freedom of short fiction. Do listen to or read them.”
The author of the winning story will receive £15,000, and each remaining shortlisted author will take home £600. Now without further ado, this year’s shortlist is:
Caleb Azumah Nelson, “Pray”
Jan Carson, “In The Car With the Rain Coming Down”
Sarah Hall, “The Grotesques”
Jack Houston, “Come Down Heavy”
Eley Williams, “Scrimshaw”
The 2020 winner will be announced on BBC Radio 4 on October 6th. Congratulations to the shortlisted writers!