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Words and pictures from the National Short Story Awards

The shortlisted writers at the National Short Story Awards ceremonyKate ClanchySara Maitland and Kate Clanchy

The nice people at Book Trust have sent us some pictures from the awards ceremony Monday night - and there are more here on Flickr.

Shortlisted Lionel Shriver's got an excellent piece about short stories in The Independent. She writes:

Exchange Rates, short-listed last month for the National Short Story Award, was the first proper short story I've written since I was 22. While a couple of other "stories" have been published meantime, they were both, sneakily, excerpts from novels.

And in The Times, Margaret Drabble, a judge, writes:

Short stories aren't just very short novels, although a few celebrated writers, including John Updike and Alice Munro, have published volumes using overlapping characters or imagined neighbourhoods that create an effect of a tapestry of interwoven lives -- not a continuous novel, but a series of episodes, cumulatively evoking a time or a place or a way of life.

Book blogger Elisabeth Baines (Fiction Bitch) likes the winner:

...short stories, as I'm frequently saying, are closer to poetry than novels, and this short story bears all the hallmarks of that: a linguistic attention and the structural and verbal patterning at which Clanchy as a poet is supremely practised, and it is these elements which create the control of emotion and tone for which this story has been rightly praised, and make it so moving.
Charlotte Williams, blogging for The Bookseller, is particularly pleased with the podcast:
Perhaps a small thing in itself - and of course Radio 4 has long been a champion of the form - but this podcast could be seen as part of a bigger scheme: with short story collections notoriously difficult to sell in print, maybe people are waking up to the different ways to get the form out there?

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

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