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Tamsin Grey's shortlisted story is about loneliness in a big city and how a fear of pigeons triggers the potential for change. The reader is Katherine Press.

Tamsin Grey's shortlisted story about loneliness in a big city. Dido regrets a rash choice she made in an attempt to feel at home in London. She imagines a fate worse than death awaiting her, until a chance encounter with a pigeon offers a glimmer of hope.

Now in its fourteenth year, the BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story. Following the announcement of the shortlist on Radio 4's Front Row, on Friday, 6th September, the five stories in contention for the 2019 award will be broadcast each weekday afternoon on Radio 4 at half past three from Monday, 9th September. To find out who wins this year, listeners should tune into Front Row on Tuesday, 1st October where the hotly anticipated announcement will be made live from the BBC Radio Theatre.

The shortlisted entries for this year's BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University are an eclectic mix, spanning a breadth of themes and topics; from confronting modern social and cultural issues to the contemporary and the political, and then onto the fantastical and escapist. Rich in variety the stories are united in their quest for empathy and understanding in an increasingly intolerant world.

Abridged by Rowan Routh
Produced by Gemma Jenkins.

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