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Lucy Caldwell wins BBC National Short Story Award

13/02/2021 7:55 AM
Lucy Caldwell wins BBC National Short Story Award

Northern Irish writer Lucy Caldwell has won the 16th BBC National Short Story Award for her story All the People Were Mean and Bad.

The story was taken from her 2021 collection, Intimacies and follows a woman as she boards a long-haul transatlantic flight alone with her young daughter after a family loss.

“I wanted to write about the distance between where we come from and where we end up; between who we think we are and who we turn out to be. Between what we dream, and what we do,” said Caldwell.

Lucy Caldwell was awarded a prize of £15,000 and the four shortlisted writers were awarded, £600 each. The Award is recognised as one of the most prestigious for a single short story and seeks to raise the platform of emerging writers.

This year’s judging panel included novelist and former Radio 4 Commissioning Editor for Arts James Runcie, Booker Prize shortlisted novelist Fiona Mozley, award winning writer Derek Owusu, multi-award-winning writer Donal Ryan, and Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Audio.

Chair of the Judging panel, James Runcie praised Caldwell’s story: “Lucy Caldwell's story has a confidence, daring and authenticity that is wonderfully sustained. All five of the stories on our shortlist were excellent, but this totally assured and moving piece of storytelling commanded the award.”

Her story is available to listen to on BBC Sounds.