BBC National Short Story Award 2021 is one of the most prestigious for a single short story.
This year’s BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) is now open for submissions, with novelist and former Radio 4 Commissioning Editor for Arts James Runcie chairing the judging panel.
James Runcie, Chair of the 2021 BBC National Short Story Award Judging Panel, says:
“I am so delighted to chair the 2021 BBC National Short Story Awards. We need imaginative alternatives in these dark times: stories that question and surprise and open up new worlds. They can be short or long. They can take place in the past, present, future, or even all three at once. They can be set in a nutshell or in infinite space. But what I think we’ll be looking for is uniqueness of vision, a distinctive tone, curiosity, intrigue, surprise: an invitation to the reader’s imagination. I can’t wait to get started.”
Eligibility for the BBC National Short Story Award 2021
- The Award is open to British nationals and UK residents
- Entrants must be aged 18 years or over on the submission deadline (9am GMT Monday 15th March 2021)
- Entrant must have a previous record of publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom
- Entries may be submitted by the author or by their publisher or agent on their behalf.
- Entrants are only allowed to submit one story
- Entries must be in English and must include a translation if written in Gaelic or Welsh.
9am (GMT) Monday, 15 March 2021.
How to Enter for the BBC National Short Story Award 2021
- Every entrant is eligible to submit ONLY one story
- Entries must be written in the English Language
- A maximum of 8,000 words
Format your entries as follows;
- Any font
- Double spaced
- No page numbers
- Include a front page which details the Title of Story and the Word Count
- No author’s name included anywhere on the story
- Save the short story as an Adobe PDF with the Title of Story in the file name
- Submissions should be made using the online entry form
- It can be submitted by post if the entry form cannot be accessed
- Print eight (8) copies of the typed short story (single or double-sided on white A4 paper).
- Request a Postal Entry Form by sending a Stamp Addressed Envelope to Entry Form Request, The BBC National Short Story Award 2021 with Cambridge University, Books, Room 6015 Radio Drama, BBC Broadcasting House, W1A 1AA
- We will endeavor to send you a form within fourteen working days of receipt of your SAE.
- Complete the Entry Form in and send it with eight (8) copies of the short story in the post to:
The BBC National Short Story Award 2021 with Cambridge University, Books, Room 6015 Radio Drama, BBC Broadcasting House, W1A 1AA.
Prizes for the BBC National Short Story Award 2021
- £15,000 for the winner
- £600 for four (4) further shortlisted stories
- The five stories shortlisted are recorded, produced and broadcast by BBC Radio 4
- The five stories shortlisted are published in an anthology
Key Award dates for the BBC National Short Story Award 2021
- The deadline for receipt of entries for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University is 9am (GMT) Monday 15th March 2021
- The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University will be announced on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row at 7.15pm on Friday 10th September 2021
- The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 13th to Friday 17th September 2021 from 3.30pm to 4pm
- The announcement of the winners will be broadcast live from the award ceremony at BBC Broadcasting House on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from 7.15pm on Tuesday 5th October 2021
Judges for the BBC National Short Story Award 2021
- James Runcie
- Donal Ryan
- Fiona Mosley
- Di spiers
- Derek Owusu
Queries about entering the Award should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the BBC National Short Story Award on Twitter via #BBCNSSA #shortstories @BBCRadio4