of the short story,’ wrote The Guardian recently, and the
annual BBC National Short Story Award is both a testament
to this, and one of the reasons why we are. Now in its sixth
year, the Award supports and showcases Britain’s best new
short fiction and continues to champion the short story as
a central literary form.
Themes of desire, envy and disconnection provide
recurring motifs for the five shortlisted stories presented
here – the extremes that love can endure and what
happens when love is not enough. The panel of judges this
year included novelist Tessa Hadley, novelist and critic
Geoff Dyer, poet and author of Submarine,
Joe Dunthorne and BBC Editor of Readings, Di Speirs.
The panel was chaired by broadcaster Sue MacGregor
who also introduces the selection.