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Press Release: Prizes and Awards
BBC National Short Story Award Returns For 2013 - Mariella Frostrup To Chair Judging Panel

Posted at 1:01AM Thursday 13 Dec 2012

After a year spanning the globe for the finest international talent, the BBC National Short Story Award returns for 2013 to celebrate the best in homegrown short fiction. Submissions for the Award, now in its eighth year, are open from today. Mariella Frostrup will chair the judging panel for the Award, one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000. The runner-up receives £3,000 and three further shortlisted authors £500 each.

The judges are:

•Mariella Frostrup, journalist, television presenter and arts critic

•Novelist and short story writer, Mohsin Hamid

•Arvon tutor, novelist and short story writer, Peter Hobbs

•Deborah Moggach, screenwriter, novelist and short story writer

•Editor of Readings, BBC Radio, Di Speirs

The Award is now open for submissions from publishers, agents and published authors from the UK. The closing date for entries is 11 March 2013 at 10am.

The shortlist will be announced on Friday 20 September with each of the five stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 the following week. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 8 October. As in previous years, the five stories will also be published in a special anthology and be available for free audio download.

Gwyneth Williams, Controller, BBC Radio 4, said:

'I am thrilled that Radio 4 continues to support the BBC National Short Story Award in 2013. Radio is a natural home for the short story – we never grow out of the joy of having a story read to us – and we are proud to commission and broadcast on Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra more short stories than anyone, anywhere in the world. This Award is a wonderful way of celebrating the short story and its talented writers.'

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. The genre is 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 Award aims to honour the country's finest exponents of the form. James Lasdun secured the inaugural Award for 'An Anxious Man'; in 2011 David Wilson won for his story 'The Dead Roads'. Last year's BBC International Short Story was won by Miro Penkov for his story, 'East of the West'. Julian Gough, Clare Wigfall, Kate Clanchy and David Constantine have also carried off the Award with authors shortlisted in previous years including Jon McGregor, Jackie Kay, William Trevor, Rose Tremain, Naomi Alderman and Lionel Shriver.

Key dates:

•The shortlist will be announced live on BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme at 7.15pm on Friday 20 September, with interviews with each of the shortlisted writers on Front Row from Friday 20 September to Thursday 26 September.

•The shortlisted stories will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 daily at 3.30pm from Monday 23 September to Friday 27 September.

•The final announcement of the Award winner and runner-up will be broadcast live from the Award ceremony on BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme at 7.15pm on Tuesday 8 October.

For further information on the Award, please email:

Press enquiries:

Will White on or 0208 875 4827

For further information on the Radio 4 broadcasts, please contact Emma Russell on 07718 118012 or

Judge biographies

Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup is a journalist, television presenter and arts critic. She currently presents The Book Show for Sky Arts and Open Book for BBC Radio 4. Recent projects include Leonardo Live for Sky Arts; The Young Ones for BBC1; Bringing Up Britain for Radio 4 and Blonde on Blonde for Radio 2. She is the film critic for Harper's Bazaar and is a columnist for The Observer Magazine, for whom she also writes major interviews. Mariella has previously sat on the judging panel for various arts awards including the Man Booker Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Evening Standard Film Awards, the Turner Prize, the Amnesty International Media Awards, the London Film festival and the RIBA Stirling Prize Awards. She currently sits on the Royal Academy Council.

Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid is the author of the novels Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and the forthcoming How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, featured on bestseller lists, and adapted for the cinema. His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, and the Paris Review, and his essays in the Guardian, the New York Times, and the New York Review of Books. Born in 1971, he has lived about half his life, on and off, in Lahore. He also spent part of his early childhood in California, attended Princeton and Harvard, and worked for a decade as a management consultant in New York and London, mostly part-time.

Peter Hobbs

Peter Hobbs is a novelist and short story writer. His debut novel The Short Day Dying (Faber, 2005) won a Betty Trask Prize, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His first collection of stories, I Could Ride All Day in My Cool Blue Train (Faber, 2006), was nominated for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. His stories have been published in numerous anthologies and journals, and have been commissioned for broadcast on Radio 4. He is also the author of a very short novel, In The Orchard, The Swallows (Faber, 2012). As well as being a regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation, he has taught courses at a range of events and literary festivals. Since 2008 he has been a writer-in-residence for the charity First Story.

Deborah Moggach

Deborah Moggach went to Bristol University and among other jobs worked in publishing before becoming a writer. She began her writing career in the 1970s after living in Pakistan for two years, during which time she wrote for Pakistani newspapers and was inspired to write her first novel, You Must Be Sisters. She has since written many successful novels including Tulip Fever and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was made into a top-grossing film starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith. She is the author of short story collections, a play and several screenplays. These include the film of Pride and Prejudice, which was nominated for a BAFTA. She has previously been Chairman of the Society of Authors and worked for PEN's Executive Committee, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She currently lives in North London.

Di Speirs

Di Speirs worked in theatre and for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation before joining the BBC in 1991 as a Woman's Hour Producer. She edited the Woman's Hour serial for three years and produced the first ever Book of the Week .She is now Editor of the BBC London Readings Unit, responsible for around a third of the output in Book of the Week, a quarter of Book at Bedtime, as well as Afternoon Stories, Radio 3 readings and Woman's Hour dramas and Afternoon Plays adapted from novels and short stories. She has been instrumental in the BBC National Short Story Award since its inception in 2006 and is a regular judge on the panel. She was also a judge of the 2008 Asham Award and Chair of the Orange Award for New Writing 2010.

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