Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Helen Oyeyemi.

Helen Oyeyemi has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. Her story, “If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason for That, Don’t You Think?,” sees its protagonist arrive an office for work only to find “a mysterious locked diary.” Described by the judges as “brilliant,” her story is up against four others: Will Eaves’s “Murmur,” Jenni Fagan’s “The Waken,” Benjamin Markovits’ “The Collector,” and Cynan Jones’s “The Edge of the Shoal”—a shortlist that has been described as “enduring, bold, humane and moving.”

Founded in 2005 by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), with support from BBC Radio and Prospect magazine, the BBC National Short Story Award rewards an outstanding short story of a given year with 15,000 pounds. The 2017 award received 600 entries.

The judges include Eimear McBride, Baileys Prize winner for A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, and Joanna Trollope. The panel described their choices as “a veritable festival of ideas about identity, the innate and the capacity of both for transformation…or not.”

These are stories about what is hidden, what is revealed, what can be lost and what will remain. While they inhabit very different imaginative, linguistic, political and artistic landscapes, these are the ideas that bind them together and have made each one such a pleasurable discovery for me.

All five of our shortlisted writers have embraced the freedom that short fiction offers and all their stories sing out, enduring, bold, humane and moving. However different in style and shape, they prove just how exciting and current the short story is in the UK just now.

The winner will be announced on 3 October.

Congratulations to Helen Oyeyemi.

Tags: , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

2 Responses to “Helen Oyeyemi Shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award” Subscribe

  1. Praise September 20, 2017 at 4:18 am #

    I’d like to read her book

  2. john September 20, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

    congratulation Helen for being shortlisted for BBc National short story award…..

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Ukamaka Olisakwe’s Forthcoming Novel, Ogadinma, Is a Feminist Story Set in ’80s Nigeria

ukamaka olisakwe - ogadinma - graph

The Nigerian writer Ukamaka Olisakwe is set to release a new novel. Titled Ogadinma, or Everything Will Be All Right, […]

Resoketswe Manenzhe Wins 2020 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for Her Novel, Scatterlings

Resoketswe - Scatterlings @avatar_reso 2

The 2020 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award has been awarded to the South African writer Resoketswe Manenzhe for her novel Scatterlings. […]

Down River Road, a New Print & Online Magazine Exploring the Alternative in Literature, Music, & Visual Art, Calls for Submissions to Second Issue

down river road journal

A new Nairobi-based print and online magazine, down river road, is exploring the margins, the shifting centers, and the new […]

Dr Stella Nyanzi Wins Appeal at Ugandan Court, Regains Freedom, But Is Possibly Re-arrested

stella nyanzi - graph - kampala dispatch

Dr Stella Nyanzi is free. The academic, feminist and queer rights advocate has been in prison for criticising Uganda’s long-serving […]

Apply for This Fully-funded Creative Writing Scholarship at the University of East Anglia, Sponsored by the Miles Morland Foundation

UEA - Literature@UEA Twitter

The Miles Morland Foundation African Writers’ Scholarship is currently accepting accepting applications for its 2020 program. It is an initiative […]

Chinelo Okparanta Recalls Her First Teenage Crush

chinelo okparanta - bucknell university

“I was 16 years old, nearly 17, when a boy first expressed interest in me. Or, maybe it was that […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.