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Institute of Continuing Education


The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education is delighted to be supporting the BBC National Short Story Award, the BBC Young Writers’ Award and the BBC Student Critics’ Award, in a three-year partnership starting in 2018.

These awards highlight the BBC’s commitment to the short story form and to bringing it to a wider audience. The University of Cambridge will support all three of the awards, and the charity, First Story, will become a partner for the Young Writers’ Award and the Student Critics' Award.

This new partnership heralds an expanded programme of activity around the awards. A short story symposium will be hosted here at the University of Cambridge Centre for Creative Writing, at our Madingley Hall campus. The symposium will appeal to new writers and anyone interested in short stories and creative writing. It will comprise writing workshops and author talks, with guests including friends of the awards.

Cambridge will host the 2018 prizegiving, with a special short story edition of Front Row broadcast live from the University Library. The Cambridge School of Arts and Humanities will host First Story’s 2018 Young Writers’ Festival.

The University of Cambridge has a rich heritage of investigating storytelling for 800 years and in that time we have produced many acclaimed creative writers including those who excel at the short story form such as A.S. Byatt, Helen Oyeyemi and Zadie Smith. The BBC shares more stories with more people than any other organisation in the world, and both organisations have an outstanding reputation for excellence and literary merit. The combined strengths of Cambridge and the BBC with First Story will make this a powerful and productive partnership.

Dr Sarah Dillon, University Lecturer in English