Established in 2005, the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was originally established to highlight a literary genre regarded as undervalued and under threat. Its aim was to recognise and celebrate the very best writers of short fiction who had no prize equivalent to major literary awards like the Man Booker Prize. Comma Press has been publishing the shortlisted stories in an annual anthology since 2010. Now, the short story is in robust health and the BBC National Short Story Award is recognised as the most prestigious for a single short story with the winning writer receiving £15,000 and the four shortlisted writers £600 each.
Previous winners include Lucy Caldwell for 'All the People were Mean and Bad' (2021), Sarah Hall for ‘The Grotesques’ (2020) and ‘Mrs Fox’(2013), Jo Lloyd for ‘The Invisible’(2019), Ingrid Persaud for ‘The Sweet Sop’(2018), Cynan Jones The Edge of the Shoal’ (2017), KJ Orr for ‘Disappearances’(2016), Jonathan Buckley for ‘Briar’ (2015), Lionel Shriver for ‘Kilifi Creek’ (2014), Miroslav Penkov – ‘East of the West’ (2012) , D W Wilson – ‘The Dead Roads’ (2011), and David Constantine for ‘Tea at the Midland’ (2010).