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Scrimshaw by Eley Williams

Eley Williams cautionary tale about late night texts and mating walruses. Here a very contemporary search for connection lurks beneath wit and wordplay. Charlotte Ritchie reads.

Eley Williams is the next writer in contention for the BBC National Short Story Award, 2020. Her shortlisted entry is a cautionary tale about late night texts and mating walruses, where a very contemporary search for connection lurks beneath wit and wordplay. Charlotte Ritchie reads.

From the short and pithy to the layered and literary, via robust poetics, family hierarchies and maligned youth, this year’s shortlist is the perfect reflection of all this ever-flexible fictional form can do. As a star-studded cast celebrate the fifteenth year of the BBC National Short Story award with Cambridge University, the short story, be it humorous, witty or poignant, retains its ability to surprise, delight and move us in equal measure.

Now in its fifteenth year, the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 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, 11th September, the five stories in contention for the 2020 award will be broadcast each weekday afternoon on Radio 4 at half past three from Monday, 14th September. Each of the shortlisted writers will be interviewed the evening preceding the broadcast of their story on Front Row, and the winner will be announced live on the programme Tuesday 6th October. All the stories will be available on BBC Sounds after broadcast, and there will be a special edition of the Short Story podcast for each to download.
For links and the most up to date information go to bbc.co.uk/nssa

(This episode also features a taster read by Clare Corbett of The Hotel, a series of ghost stories with a feminist slant which goes out on Radio 4 from 20th September)

Read by Charlotte Ritchie
Producer: Ciaran Bermingham

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14 minutes

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Last Friday 15:45

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  • Last Friday 15:45

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