The BBC's award for short fiction is to turn international for one year to celebrate the Olympics, with the shortlist to be expanded from five stories to 10. The judging panel will be chaired by broadcaster Clive Anderson.
For 2012 only, the BBC International Short Story Award will accept stories globally for the £15,000 prize for the first time. The shortlist of 10, will be announced on BBC Radio 4 "Front Row", with the winner and runner-up revealed at an event also broadcast on the programme, late next summer. All 10 stories will be broadcast on the station over the two weeks after the shortlist announcement.
The short stories will again be published in a special anthology and made available as free audio downloads. Scottish Book Trust will also run four short story workshops in Edinburgh alongside the awards.
Gwyneth Williams, BBC Radio 4 controller, said: "I am delighted to announce that in this Olympic year the BBC Short Story Award is going international. We will be celebrating the best of writing around the world in English and looking forward to entries from some of the greatest exponents of the form."
Anderson said: "A great short story can combine the structure of a good joke with the impact of a miniature masterpiece. I shall enjoy trying to choose between what I expect to be a competitive and entertaining field."
The award is now open for submissions from publishers, agents and authors from anywhere in the world who have been published in the UK. The closing date for entries is 27th February at 5 p.m.