The BBC National Short Story Award is launching its third year and announces headline sponsorship from the BBC, one of the award’s founding partners on its launch in 2005.
The annual award, known in previous years as the National Short Story Prize, is one of the world’s most prestigious for a single short story with the winning author receiving £15,000, the runner-up £3,000 and three further authors £500 each.
Broadcaster Martha Kearney will chair the panel of judges for 2008, which also includes Alexander Linklater, one of the award’s founders (Prospect Magazine), Booker Prize winner Penelope Lively and Di Speirs (Radio 4).
The shortlist will be announced in June 2008, with the five stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 each weekday before the winner is announced.
Aimed at highlighting the importance of the short story after many years of neglect, the award stands at the heart of a UK-wide campaign – story – that also launched alongside the award in 2005.
The ambition of both award and campaign is to expand opportunities for British writers, readers and publishers of the short story.
The award aims to honour the country’s finest authors in the form, with James Lasdun securing the inaugural year with An Anxious Man and Julian Gough winning in 2007 with The Orphan And The Mob.
Other authors shortlisted in previous years have included Jackie Kay, Hanif Kureishi, Rose Tremain and William Trevor.Radio 4 is the world’s leading broadcaster of short stories and a staunch supporter of the form, showcasing a story on air every weekday.