BBC National Short Story Award are being read on Radio Four. This prestigious award is probably one of the most high profile short story awards in the UK and I always enjoy listening to the final five. The award isn't without it's controversies - from whether or not the entries are judged anonymously to whether stories can be called into the award without actually being entered by the writer. Dan Purdue has written a couple of interesting blog posts on these subjects which you can read here.
However, controversies aside, it's great to see short stories being given a higher public profile. A well-crafted short story is one of the most inspiring things to read - for me anyway. I intend to review each of the stories here on the blog as I listen to them - it'd be great if you'd listen along as well and let me know what you think too. I have so little time for short story writing now and I'm desperate to get back to it. Maybe discussing some short stories with other literature-lovers will inspire me! The stories are being broadcast on BBC Radio Four at 3:30pm every day this week, or you can catch them later on BBC iPlayer.
This year's shortlist contains some famous names and all five authors have a track record of published novels, grants or prestigious awards. I guess talent tells! The most famous author on the shortlist is Hilary Mantel, two-times winner of the Man Booker Prize, although many of you will also know of Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The other three authors are Jonathan Buckley, Frances Leviston and Jeremy Page. You can read more about them and their stories here. The winner of the £15000 prize will be announced on the radio on Wednesday 6th October, 7:15pm.
I look forward to listening with you!