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Here’s the shortlist for the 2022 BBC National Short Story Award.

Emily Temple

September 15, 2022, 2:45pm

The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University shortlist was announced today on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. The prize, which seeks to herald a “new vanguard of British writing,” comes with a £15,000 purse; the other shortlisted writers will take home £600 each. “A good short story says something meaningful,” said Elizabeth Day, Chair of the 2022 BBC National Short Story Award Judging Panel, in a press release.

A great short story keeps certain things hidden. The best short stories find their power on the page precisely because of what the author has decided not to say. Our five shortlisted stories are fine examples of this talent. Their subject matters are varied – step-families, road-trips through America, AI clones, a post-apocalyptic love affair, and urban knife crime – but they are connected by a surety of touch. Every one of these writers has taken great care to choose the shining details that arrest our attention, to inflect their paragraphs with precision and unique lyrical flair without ever losing grip on the pace or purpose of the story in question. These stories represent the new vanguard of British writing and I am confident that the future of the short story is in safe hands.

Here’s the shortlist:

“And The Moon Descends on the Temple That Was” by Kerry Andrew
“Flat 19” by Jenn Ashworth
“Long Way to Come For a Sip of Water” by Anna Bailey
“Green Afternoon” by Vanessa Onwuemezi
“Blue 4eva” by Saba Sams

The winner will be announced live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on October 4.

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