skip to content

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


The BBC National Short Story Award (NSSA) is one of the most prestigious for a single short story and aims to expand opportunities for British writers, readers and publishers of the short story and honour the UK’s finest exponents of the form. The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) is a proud partner with the charity First Story, since 2018. Previous alumni include Lionel Shriver, Zadie Smith, Hilary Mantel, Jon McGregor and William Trevor. These awards highlight the BBC’s commitment to the short story form and to bringing it to a wider audience.

Applications are now closed however the shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University will be announced on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row at 7.15pm on Thursday 7th September 2023.

The judges have been announced, with Reeta Chakrabarti Chair of judges for the award. Reeta is a journalist and presenter for BBC News. She regularly presents the One, Six, and Ten O’Clock News on BBC1, and also works on the rolling News Channel. She combines being a studio anchor with reporting from home and abroad.

She will be joined on the panel for the BBC NSSA by Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling novelist Jessie Burton; Booker Prize winning Irish author and writer for stage and screen Roddy Doyle; award-winning author and Creative Writing lecturer at Lancaster University Okechukwu Nzelu; and returning judge, Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.

“The University of Cambridge are delighted to support the BBC Short Story Awards in celebrating exceptional work from the very best storytellers of today and the young writers of the future from around the UK. In our rapidly changing world, the short story form offers a unique opportunity to reflect and explore. We encourage everyone to send in their stories. Good luck!”

Dr Bonnie Lander Johnson, Fellow and Lecturer at Cambridge University

 The awards are sponsored by the Centre for Creative Writing, based at the Institute of Continuing Education, alongside the Faculty of English, the School of Arts and Humanities, and the University Library.