Johnson and Jones join BBC Short Story judging panel

Johnson and Jones join BBC Short Story judging panel

Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Daisy Johnson is joining fellow authors Cynan Jones and Richard Beard to judge the £15,000 BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA).

Books editor at BBC Radio Di Speirs and broadcaster Nikki Bedi will also judge the 14th year of the awards. Jones won the award in 2017, while Johnson became the youngest ever author to be shortlisted for the Man Booker earlier this year for Everything Under (Jonathan Cape).

Panel chair Bedi said: “I’m honoured, delighted and excited to be chairing the BBC National Short Story Award. It is my favourite form of literature and there is nothing more delicious and perfect for me than devouring, digesting and loving a surprising and perfectly formed short story. There are so many undiscovered voices and stories waiting to be told out there and we’ll be in the privileged position of receiving and reading them. I’m looking forward to works that transport me to new places, physically and culturally.”

BBC Radio 1 and CBBC’s Book Club presenter Katie Thistleton will chair the judging panel for the teenage award for the second time as it opens for submissions for the fifth year. Thistleton will lead authors Anthony Cartwright, Patrice Lawrence, Kiran Millwood Hargrave; and writer, rapper and beatboxer, Testament, on the BBC Young Writers’ Award panel.

Speirs said: “We are so delighted to be launching the 14th BBC National Short Story Award, incorporating the fifth BBC Young Writers' Award and second Student Critics' Award. All three reflect the BBC’s commitment to both the writing and the reading of short stories and our listeners' continued love of the form. We have 10 judges who are keen to start reading and I know from past experience we, and our listeners, are about to go on a terrific journey of discovery, finding delights from writers new and old.”

The award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, and four further shortlisted authors taking home £600 each.

The submissions window for the BBC NSSA runs until is 9am on 11th March 2019 with the BBC Young Writers’ Award entries closing on 9am on 25th March and the Student Critics closing on 1st April. 

The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University will be announced on 6th September 2019 and with all the winners revealed on 1st October 2019.

For more information, visit www.bbc.co.uk/nssa and www.bbc.co.uk/ywa.