Clare WIGFALL wins the 2008 BBC National Short Story Award
CLARE WIGFALL has been declared the winner of the 2008 BBC National Short Story Award, with Jane Gardam the runner-up. Wigfall will receive £15,000—the largest award in the world for a single short story—for her story “The Numbers” from her début collection, The Loudest Sound and Nothing (Faber and Faber, 2007), a collection of disturbing and darkly provocative stories. (“The Numbers” is the first story in the collection.) This collection was recently longlisted for the 2008 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Two-time Whitbread Prize-winner Gardam won for her short story, “The People on Privilege Hill,” from a collection of the same name. The other writers on the shortlist include Adam Thorpe (“The Names”), Richard Beard (“Guidelines for Measures to Cope with Disgraceful and Other Events”) and Erin Soros (“Surge”).
According to the chair of the judging panel, broadcaster and writer Martha Kearnsey, “It’s exciting that a relatively unknown voice, in fact the youngest writer on our shortlist, has distinguished herself amongst some very well-known authors as a leading talent in the world of storytelling. Clare’s evocation of superstition and frustrated lives on a remote Scottish island is an act of historical ventriloquism. She shows just what the short story can achieve, conjuring up a whole world in microcosm. The strength of our shortlist ranging from the gothic to the comic demonstrates that the short story is alive and well, the perfect art form for a time-hungry age.”
Heartiest congratulations, Clare!