Three-time nominated Lucy Caldwell has won the sixteenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) with ‘All the People Were Mean and Bad’, a story taken from her 2021 collection, Intimacies. The news was announced live on BBC Front Row by 2021 Chair of Judges, James Runcie. Caldwell, a multi-award-winning writer from Belfast, was previously shortlisted in 2012 and 2019.
“WELSH WRITER JO LLOYD WINS THE 2019 BBC NATIONAL SHORT STORY AWARD WITH ‘TIMELESS’ AND ‘DEEPLY TENDER’ STORY INFLUENCED BY BREXIT, SOCIAL DIVISION AND FOLKLORE” (BBC Radio 4)
“Welsh writer Jo Lloyd has won the fourteenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019 (NSSA) for ‘The Invisible’, a distinctive and compellingly original story. Inspired by the life of an 18th Century woman from Carnarvonshire called Martha who claimed to be friends with an invisible family living in an invisible mansion, Lloyd discovered her story by chance in the online Dictionary of Welsh Biography. Set in a close-knit community, the story is both timeless and universal, and resonates profoundly in an age where fear of outsiders and social division is rife.”
Listen: Aimee-Ffion Edwards reads “Jo Lloyd’s hypnotic tale about the fantasies people embrace to make life bearable” The Invisible by Jo Lloyd.
This news continues a series of successes this year by previous Willesden international short story prize winners. Jo Lloyd won the Willesden in 2009 with her story “Work”, which you can read in New Short Stories 3.
“A disturbing and powerful story about growing up and coming to terms with life’s realities. Read by Carolyn Pickles. Produced by Simon Richardson.” (BBC Sounds, Summer Stories)
A typical (and typically wonderful) Lawrence story linking human desire to the relentless struggle, conflict and pathos of animals in nature. A powerful but deathly joy found in embracing the second best available mate. Listen
“Ian McMillan gets into the subjunctive mood with brand new writing from Toby Litt, a new poetry commission from Holly Pester, on the subjunctive in welsh with Menna Elfyn and Rob Drummond explains why the subjunctive is dying out amongst the young…” (The Verb, BBC Radio 3, 1 Feb. 2019)
In partnership with Commonwealth Writers, Granta publishes the regional winners of the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Ingrid Persaud’s ‘The Sweet Sop’ is the winning entry from the Caribbean, and the overall winner of the 2017 prize.
After taking the Commonwealth Prize for “winning entry from the Caribbean” in 2017, Ingrid Persaud’s story The Sweet Sop has just been awarded the BBC National Short Story award 2018, a whopping £15,000 prize.
You can read the story by following the link to Granta from June 2017 and/or you can also follow links from the BBC’s NSSA 2018 winner announcement page to listen to a reading of “The Sweet Sop” as well as the other short-listed stories. You might question how the same story can win prizes in two competitions in successive years but never mind that, let’s just say congratulations to Ingrid and “More power to her elbow.”
“Angela Carter’s surreal imagination produced some of the most dazzling fiction of the last century. Pioneering her own distinctive brand of ‘magic realism,’ works like The Magic Toyshop and Nights at the Circus cracked open the middle-class conventions of the postwar novel and influenced a new generation of writers.”
For short story lovers, it’s her collection “The Bloody Chamber” that hits home. But, of course, it’s always novels that get more attention.