The BBC National Short Story Award 2017
Book type: Anthology
Published: 15 Sep 2017
INCLUDING THE WINNING STORY, 'THE EDGE OF THE SHOAL', BY CYNAN JONES
There is in the short story, at its most characteristic, something we do not often find in the novel, Frank O’Connor wrote, ‘an intense awareness of human loneliness.’
The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with BookTrust 2017 all feature characters that are disconnected, willingly or unwillingly, from those around them: a mysterious out-of-towner is shunned by her new colleagues; a grieving husband retreats into his old compulsion for hoarding; a promising academic risks his career for a casual liaison with a younger man. And whether we follow the characters’ need to be alone – like the fisherman drifting dangerously far from shore – or trace it back to its root – like the daughter burying her violent father – what we find there is always unexpected.
This year’s shortlist was selected by authors Eimear McBride, Jon McGregor and Sunjeev Sahota, as well as BBC Radio’s Di Speirs and acclaimed novelist Joanna Trollope who chaired the panel and introduces the collection. One of the most prestigious awards for the short story has reached its twelfth year. Hugely successful, the BBC National Short Story Award, in partnership with Booktrust, awards £15,000 to the winning author, with £3000 going to the runner-up.
Listen to Jenni Fagan's story 'The Waken' here or read an extract here.
Listen to Will Eaves's story 'Murmur' here or read an extract here.
Listen to Helen Oyeyemi's story 'If a book is locked there's probably a good reason for that, don't you think?' here or read an extract here.
Listen to Cynan Jones's story 'The Edge of the Shoal' here or read an extract here.
Listen to Benjamin Markovits's story 'The Collector' here or read an extract here.
Read more about the Award from the BBC.
Read more about the Award in The Guardian.
Read more about the Award in Granta.