Smith, Shriver, Tremain up for BBC short story award

Smith, Shriver, Tremain up for BBC short story award

Writers Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver and Rose Tremain join Tessa Hadley and Francesca Rhydderch on an all-female shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award 2014.

It is the second successive year in which the prize has featured an all-women shortlist.

The award, run in partnership with Booktrust, gives £15,000 to the winning author, with the runner-up receiving £3,000 and the remaining three collecting £500 each. Tremain and Shriver have both been shortlisted for the prize before.

Smith is the author of three novels, including On Beauty, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction, as did Rose Tremain with The Road Home (Vintage), and Lionel Shriver with We Need to Talk About Kevin (Serpent's Tail). Hadley has published five novels and two collections of short stories, and teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University. Rhydderch's debut novel, The Rice Paper Diaries (Seren), won the Wales Book of the Year Award for Fiction this summer.

Smith's story, Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets, follows an ageing American performer as she shops for underwear. Tremain's The American Lover is an woman's recollection of a "disfiguring love affair". Shriver's Kilifi Creek looks at a gap year traveller's encounter with morality, while Hadley's Bad Dreams captures the moment a child discovers the unease behind her home life. Rhydderch's The Taxidermist's Daughter centres around the emerging sexuality of a young girl in post-war Wales.

The stories will be broadcast on Radio 4 from 22nd September by actors including Carey Mulligan and Rebecca Hall, with interviews with the writers on Radio 4's "Front Row". The winner will be announced live on Front Row on 30th September, and the five stories will be published in a collection by Comma Press.

Alan Yentob, chair of the judges, said: "The enthusiasm of writers, both established and emerging, is very much in evidence in this, the ninth BBC National Short Story Award. With the quality and diversity of the work submitted, it has been a pleasure and a challenge to serve as this year’s chair."

Yentob, the BBC's creative director, is joined on the panel by writer and performer Laura Dockrill, poet and novelist Adam Foulds, Scribe's editor-at-large Philip Gwyn Jones, and BBC Radio editor of books Di Speirs.