BBC National Short Story Award

Stories shortlisted for the National Short Story Award

On radio

There are no upcoming broadcasts of this programme

Last on

All previous episodes


Clips (16)

Buy online
Series and episodes available from online suppliers

Celebrating its 10th year, the BBC National Short Story Award 2015 is now open for submissions

We're pleased to announce that Allan Little will chair the judges of 10th BBC National Short Story Award 2015

The distinguished BBC foreign correspondent brings decades of experience reporting from across the globe and heads up a diverse panel of judges: novelist and short story writer Tash Aw, 2013 BBC NSSA award-winner Sarah Hall, and the UK’s bestselling crime novelist, Rebus creator Ian Rankin. They are joined by Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio

Allan said:

‘The BBC National Short Story Award is now a decade old and has established itself as a powerful champion of outstanding new writing - both by established practitioners and emerging talent. Good writing is at the heart of what the BBC does. I am delighted that the BBC’s commitment to upholding that is undiminished, and excited to be chairing the judging for this increasingly prestigious Award.’

The 2015 judges are:

Tash Aw, author of three novels, The Harmony Silk Factory, Map of the Invisible World and Five Star Billionaire,

Sarah Hall, 2013 BBC NSSA winner and author of four novels and a collection of short stories, The Beautiful Indifference (2012)

Allan Little, (Chair) Former BBC Foreign Correspondent

Ian Rankin, bestselling author of ‘Inspector Rebus’ and ‘Malcolm Fox’ novels

Di Speirs, Editor, Books, BBC Radio

The Award, which this year was won by Lionel Shriver, aims to promote the best in contemporary British short fiction. Over the last decade its alumni have included established writers such as Naomi Alderman, Sarah HallJackie Kay, Jon McGregor, Zadie Smith, Rose Tremain and William Trevor, and new stars such as Julian Gough, Francesca Rhydderch and Lucy Wood.

It offers an award of £15,000 to the winner, £3,000 for the runner-up and £500 for three further shortlisted writers. In September 2015, listeners can hear the five shortlisted stories read on BBC Radio 4 and readers can discover the stories in the Award anthology published by Comma Press.

The 2015 Award is open to UK residents or nationals, aged 18 or over, who have a history of publication in creative writing. The deadline for receipt of entries is 5pm (GMT), Wednesday 25 February 2015. The Terms & Conditions and Entry Form are available by clicking here.

The BBC and Book Trust are also expanding their partnership to launch the brand new BBC Young Writers’ Award with Book Trust. The inaugural Award launched today and invites young writers, aged 14 to 18 who are based in the UK, to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words. A shortlist of five writers will be announced in September 2015. The winner, who will hear their story broadcast on the BBC and receive a mentoring session with an author, will be celebrated alongside the winner of the adult Award in October.

To celebrate the Award’s 10th anniversary, the BBC and Book Trust will select 10 schools from across the UK to shadow judge the BBC National Short Story Award 2015 with Book Trust. At least 200 pupils aged 16-18 will read the five shortlisted stories and vote for their favourite. More details will be announced in the spring.

Student Choice

This September we will also will be giving sixth form schools and colleges the opportunity to shadow judge the Award.

This unique opportunity will see those in year 12 and/or 13 get exclusive access to the shortlist of five stories. Book Trust will send participating schools free anthologies of the five shortlisted stories and students will have until 25 September 2015 to read the shortlist and vote for their winner.

Di Speirs, Editor of Books at BBC Radio and judge of the Award since its launch, said:

Di Speirs, Editor of Books at BBC Radio and judge of the Award since its launch, said:
"Launching the first BBC National Short Story Award ten years ago, short stories seemed an endangered species. What a difference a decade makes. Not only do we see short stories in the headlines - holding their own against novels in areas as diverse as the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Edinburgh and the Guardian First Book awards, but joyfully story collections are crossing my desk more and more frequently and finding new, young and enthusiastic writers and readers. 

That makes it particularly exciting to be launching two new spurs to the BBCNSSA - both for Young Writers and for young readers - all of whom, I hope, will come to love the form as I do. Meanwhile for me, this moment is as exciting as ever, as we wait to see just what will be in the judging piles in the spring and what treats we will bring to the listeners in what I am sure will be an exceptional 10th year."

Book Trust - the BBC's partner in this award

Book Trust is an independent charity that changes lives through reading. We have a vision of a society where nobody misses out on the life-changing benefits that reading can bring.

We announce the new BBC Young Writer's Award


Seeking out the best young writers in the UK

The 2014 Shortlist

BBC NSSA Montage

Biogs & story trailers for the five shortlisted authors

Celebrating the short story

Celebrating the short story

BBC Arts celebrates the short story with a selection of treats from the archive

Related Links