The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award has been announced.

On Friday 27 November, on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, Tom Sutcliffe - the broadcaster and chair of this year’s judging panel - revealed the five shortlisted stories for the BBC National Short Story Award 2009.


The five shortlisted stories are:

Other People’s Gods by Naomi Alderman
The Not-Dead and the Saved by Kate Clanchy
Moss Witch by Sara Maitland
Hitting Trees With Sticks by Jane Rogers
Exchange Rates by Lionel Shriver


You can hear the shortlisted stories on BBC Radio 4 from Monday, 30 November 2009 to Friday, 4 December 2009 at 3.30pm.


Tom Sutcliffe says of the shortlist: 'What we wanted was the short stories that stayed with us after we’d finished reading them, that’s the real secret of the short story I think that its brevity doesn’t really matter, because it has a resonance once it’s finished, and those are the stories that made it through to the shortlist.'


This year’s winning author will receive £15,000, the runner up £3,000, and the other three shortlisted writers will each be given £500. The Award is funded by the BBC and administered in partnership with Booktrust.

This year’s Award has attracted almost 700 submissions. A prestigious panel of judges is chaired by broadcaster Tom Sutcliffe, alongside award winning writers Margaret Drabble (CBE and DBE) and Helen Dunmore, singer songwriter Will Young, and Di Speirs (BBC Radio 4 – Editor, Readings).


Now in its fourth year, the BBC National Short Story Award was set up to help revive a genre which had fallen out of favour with the British public and publishers. There is now a palpable revival of excitement around the short story, from the award of the International Man Booker prize for 2009 to superlative short story writer, Alice Munro; to the UK publication of some widely acclaimed collections and an increase in print outlets each year.


The stories will be released as an anthology called The BBC National Short Story Award published by Short Books priced £6.99
(ISBN 978 1 906 021 87 0)


Click here to read more about the authors' reactions to the shortlist



Sign-up for our e-newsletter find out more

Free short stories by the best writers for you to download find out more

The short story form is better suited to the demands of modern life than the novel.
Simon Prosser Publishing Director Hamish Hamilton

journals and magazines

BBC National Short Story Award find out more