The judging panel for the £15,000 BBC National Short Story Award with Book Trust has been revealed, naming broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray as its chair.
The other judges, "eager to read the best and most innovative short works of fiction" in the award's 11th year, are: Booker Prize winner for The Ghost Road (Penguin, 1995), Pat Barker, Jamaica-born poet and short story writer Kei Miller, literature specialist, Ted Hodgkinson, also senior programmer for Literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre and Di Speirs, books editor at the BBC. Speirs has been "closely involved" in the BBC National Short Story Award since its inception 11 years ago.
Dame Murray is a long-time presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and also the author of several books. Her latest, published in 2009, is Memoirs of a Not So Dutiful Daughter (Black Swan).
The award aims to "promote the best in contemporary British short fiction" and is for a single short story, open to both new and established writers. The winning author will be rewarded £15,000, and the runner-up £3,000. Three further shortlisted authors will receive £500 each.
Dame Murray said: “I’m delighted to be chairing the judging panel for the BBC National Short Story Award with BookTrust. Lots of lovely reading for the summer and a wonderful opportunity for new and talented writers to be recognised.”
The deadline for entries is 5pm (GMT), on Friday 11th March 2016.
In September 2016, BBC Radio 4 listeners will be able to hear the five shortlisted stories read on air. Readers can later discover the stories in the award anthology published by Comma Press.
The award was won last year by Jonathan Buckley. Since it began in 2005, its alumni have included established writers such as Hilary Mantel, Mark Haddon, Lionel Shriver, Naomi Alderman, Sarah Hall, Tessa Hadley, Jackie Kay, Jon McGregor, Zadie Smith, Rose Tremain, William Trevor and Julian Gough, and debut authors such as Francesca Rhydderch and K J Orr.
The BBC Young Writers’ Award with BookTrust, which launched last year, is set to open for submissions soon.