BBC National Short Story Award

£15,000 for the winning story, £3,000 for the runner-up and £500 for the three other shortlisted stories.

The deadline for entries has now passed

The BBC National Short Story Award has launched for its sixth year. The Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000.

This year, for the first time, the BBC National Short Story Award accepted electronic entries. The closing date for entries was Thursday 5 May 2011 at 5pm.

The Award is moving forward by two months in 2011 from November to September to coincide with Books on the BBC 2011 – a major season of programmes focusing on literature. The five stories will be broadcast on air, published in an anthology and be available for free audio download.

The 2011 judging panel will be chaired by writer and broadcaster Sue MacGregor, who says: 'I have always had a soft spot for the short story, ever since being gripped as a child by Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination in a dog-eared copy left behind by a visitor. The best short stories, the little gems, can have little plot but should have memorable atmosphere, dropping you instantly into someone else's world. I very much look forward to enjoying what should be a bumper crop this year.’

How to enter

Click here to download the entry form (.pdf 88Kb)

Click here for full terms and conditions (.pdf 167Kb)

This year, for the first time, the BBC National Short Story Award accepted electronic entries by email either in an attachment in Word or PDF format, and emailed to, accompanied by a completed entry form as an attachment.

Click here to read about last year's prize

About the prize

The BBC National Short Story Award, managed in partnership with Booktrust, continues to serve as a reminder of the power of the short story and to celebrate a literary form that is proving ever more versatile in the twenty first century, enjoyed not just on the page, on air and increasingly on every sort of screen, but also in flash fiction events, short story festivals and slams. The short story has moved beyond the revival of recent years and is now experiencing a golden age.

BBC Radio 4 is the world’s leading broadcaster of short stories and a staunch and long-time supporter of the form. Short stories are broadcast every week, attracting over a million listeners.

The ambition of both the Award and the UK-wide story campaign is to expand opportunities for British writers, readers and publishers of the short story. James Lasdun secured the inaugural Award for 'An Anxious Man'; last year the poet and translator David Constantine won for his story 'Tea at the Midland'. Julian Gough, Clare Wigfall and Kate Clanchy have also carried off the award with other authors shortlisted in previous years including Jon McGregor, Jackie Kay, William Trevor, Rose Tremain, Naomi Alderman and Lionel Shriver.

Prize administration

For prize information, please contact the prizes team on 020 8516 2972 or


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Read an article by Di Speirs (Executive Producer Readings BBC Radio 4) about BBC Radio and its work with the short story

Read about the history and previous winners of the prize

The shortlist will be announced on Friday 27 November 2009 on BBC Radio 4's Front Row.

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

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