At a ceremony in London, the BBC announced the winner of the fourth annual National Short Story Award, a fifteen-thousand-pound prize (approximately $24,700) given for a single piece of short fiction by a U.K. writer. Kate Clanchy took the prize for "The Not-Dead and the Saved," which was selected from nearly seven hundred entries. Sara Maitland was honored as runner up, receiving three thousand pounds (approximately $4,900), for her story "Moss Witch."
The finalists were Naomi Alderman, winner of the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers, for "Other People's Gods"; Jane Rogers for "Hitting Trees With Sticks"; and Orange Prize winner Lionel Shriver for "Exchange Rates." All of the shortlisted stories were presented last week on BBC's Radio Four, where "the short story continues to hold its own," according to the BBC Web site. Podcasts of the readings are available on the site.
Novelist Dame Margaret Drabble, journalist Tom Sutcliffe, and singer Will Young were the judges.
For writers looking to submit to story competitions on this side of the pond, here's a rundown of this month's contests, all open for entries:
Crazyhorse's Fiction Prize
Submit a story of up to 25 pages by December 15.
White Eagle Coffee Store Press's A. E. Coppard Prize
Submit a story of eight-thousand to fourteen-thousand words by December 15.
North Carolina Writers Network's Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize
Submit a story of up to twelve pages by December 20.
Boulevard's Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
Submit a story of any length by December 31.
Glimmer Train Press's Fiction Open
Submit a story of two-thousand to twenty-thousand words by December 31.
Ruth Hindman Foundation's H. E. Francis Short Story Competition
Submit a story of up to five thousand words by December 31.
In the video below, the Radio Four recording of Kate Clanchy's story is excerpted: