Bulgarian author wins BBC short story award

Bulgarian author wins BBC short story award

Bulgarian author Miroslav Penkov has won the £15,000 BBC International Short Story Award, with South African Henrietta Rose-Innes being named the runner-up, winning £2,500.

Penkov won for his story "East of the West", set in Bulgaria during and after the Cold War as the narrator takes the reader from his childhood to the present day. Rose-Innes' story "Sanctuary" earned her the runner-up spot, selected from a global shortlist including Man Booker-shortlisted Deborah Levy, as well as previous winner Julian Gough. The prize was open for one year only to authors across the world as well as from the UK, with a longer shortlist of 10 stories rather than the usual five.

The announcement was made live on Radio 4's Front Row last night (2nd October) from a ceremony at the Free Word Centre in London, with judge Michele Roberts saying the panel was unanimous in its choice. She said Penkov's story "so ambitiously and successfully united personal and political life, joining inner and outer worlds through its deployment of different kinds of realism: social and magical and folkloric".

A collection of the stories, The BBC International Short Story Award 2012 Anthology, is published by Comma Press and is available now. A collection of the shortlist read by actors including Rory Kinnear and Andrew Scott, previously broadcast on BBC Radio 4, are now available as an audiobook download via AudioGo.