Established in 2005, the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was originally conceived 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.
Fifteen years on, 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. Every year, the shortlisted stories are broadcast on Radio 4 and published in this anthology by Comma Press.
The 2022 anthology is introduced by Elizabeth Day, the author of four novels and Sunday Times best-selling memoir, How to Fail. Her acclaimed debut Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award and Home Fires was an Observer book of the year. She is also an award-winning journalist and has written extensively for The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Observer, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle.
AUTHORS: Saba Sams, Kerry Andrew, Jenn Ashworth, Anna Bailey and Vanessa Onwuemezi.
Listen: All the shortlisted works will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from September 20.
Prompt: Write about your first time in the water. Start with basic facts but then begin to embellish. See where it leads.