Hall, Shriver, Greenlaw on BBC short story shortlist

Hall, Shriver, Greenlaw on BBC short story shortlist

An all-female shortlist has been announced for the £15,000 BBC National Short Story Award.

Authors Lionel Shriver, Sarah Hall and Lavinia Greenlaw [pictured] are joined on the list by two newer names: Lucy Wood, author of debut short story collection Diving Belles, and Lisa Blower, who in 2009 won the Guardian's National Short Story Competition.

The shortlisted stories are: Barmouth by Lisa Blower; We Are Watching Something Terrible Happen by Lavinia Greenlaw; Mrs Fox by Sarah Hall; Notes from the House Spirits by Lucy Wood; and Prepositions by Lionel Shriver.

Sarah Lewis was also given a special mention by the judges for her story Healing The State of Man.

Chair of the judges Mariella Frostrup said the fact that the 2013 shortlist was all female "suggests the short story is a form much suited to the innovative brilliance of women writers". Fellow judge Di Speirs, BBC radio's editor of readings, called this year's list "exceptionally strong", saying: "Across these five stories, listeners and readers will find a heady mix of serious issues and fantastical flights of fancy. As a group, the stories seem to me to reflect the current excitement and passion surrounding short fiction and show its infinite variety and flexibility."

Also judging the BBC National Short Story Award are novelists Deborah Moggach, Mohsin Hamid and Peter Hobbs.

The winner of this year's award will be announced on 8th October. As well as the £15,000 winner's prize, the runner-up will receive £3,000 and while the remaining three shortlisted authors receive £500.

The shortlisted titles are being read this week on BBC Radio 4 at 3.30pm each day, with actresses Hattie Morahan and Claire Skinner among those reading. Anthology The BBC National Short Story Award 2013 (Comma Press) is also available.