The BBC National Short Story Award 2018

Edited by Stig Abell

Featuring the winning story by Ingrid Persaud, alongside the other four shortlisted stories.

Hung-over and grief-stricken, a man contemplated suicide at the edge of a cliff, until he is unexpectedly distracted by the sight of a woman emerging from the water below...

A group of art students protesting the demolition of a housing block decide to turn its destruction into a creative act...

Waiting in her car for the rain to pass after her mother's funeral, a woman nurses her child and reflects on a world outside that remains headless of her sorrow...

The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2018 pivot around the theme of loss, and the different ways that individuals, and communities, respond to it. From the son caring for his estranged father, to the widow going out for her first meal alone, the characters in these stories are trying to find ways to repair themselves, looking ahead to a time when grief will eventually soften and sooth. Above all, these stories explore the importance of human connection, and salutary effect of companionship and friendship when all else seems lost.


The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University is back for the 13th year with editor and publisher of The Times Literary Supplement Stig Abell chairing the judging panel for the 2018 award, joined by an esteemed group of award-winning writers and poets on the judging panel: short story writer and 2016 BBC NSSA winner, K J Orr and Granta’s ‘20 under 40’ novelist, Benjamin Markovits, one of last year’s shortlisted writers, returning judge, Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio, and multi award winning poet and Cambridge alumni Sarah Howe.
Selected from nearly 800 entries (an increase of 28% on 2017), this year’s shortlist is the fifth all-female shortlist in the BBC National Short Story Award’s history. The shortlist is:
"To Belong To" by Kerry Andrew
"Sudden Traveller" by Sarah Hall
"Van Rensburg’s Card" by Kiare Ladner
"The Sweet Sop" by Ingrid Persaud
"The Minutes" by Nell Stevens
Last year’s winner of the BBC National Short Story Award was Cynan Jones for his ‘exhilarating, terrifying and life-affirming’ story ‘The Edge of the Shoal’.

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Book Details

13 Sep 2018