The 2020 BBC National Story Award

As you may already know, I was kindly asked to be involved in the launch of the 2020 BBC Radio 4 Short Story Award by Comma Press and I can’t believe my luck!

The shortlist for the 2020 BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was announced on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on Friday 11th September 2020. The stories shortlisted were then broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 to showcase each individual story.

The Shortlist

BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2020 shortlist is:

  • ‘Pray’ by Caleb Azumah Nelson
  • ‘In The Car With the Rain Coming Down’ by Jan Carson
  • ‘The Grotesques’ by Sarah Hall
  • ‘Come Down Heavy’ by Jack Houston
  • ‘Scrimshaw’ by Eley Williams

My Winner

‘The Grotesques’ tells a story about a fictional family with its own oppressive rules. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the mother is controlling but there are also hints of other darker secrets hidden in the family as well.

The author, Sarah Hall has been shortlisted for the BBCNSSA four times already, so I’m really rooting for her to win the award this year. Her story, just like all her other entries, perfectly combines the feeling of tension and relief, in ways I never knew possible.

The Award is one of the most prestigious for single short stories, with the winning author receiving £15,000, and the other four further shortlisted authors winning £600 each.

Excitedly, the announcement of the winner of the award will be broadcast live from the award ceremony on BBC Radio 4 from 7:15 pm on Tuesday 6th October 2020.

If you would like to catch up on all the stories broadcasted on BBC Radio 4, check them out on BBC Sounds!

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