Today the BBC announced an all-female author shortlist for its National Short Story Award. The nominees are Bad Dreams by Tessa Hadley, The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Francesca Rhydderch, Kilifi Creek by Lionel Shriver, Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets by Zadie Smith and The American Lover by Rose Tremain.
The five stories “tackle pivotal moments in a woman’s life from girlhood to middle age, including sex and love, death and disintegration,” the BBC reports. All the authors have established a body of critically acclaimed or award-winning work—Shriver and Tremain have been nominated for the award before— except for Welsh newcomer Francesca Rhydderch, who made her debut this year with The Rice Paper Diaries. This is the third all-female list in the past nine years.
“The short story form has a unique ability to capture a single defining moment,” says Chair of Judges Alan Yentob. “It invites us to dive headfirst into another world… In their very different ways these five stories do just that.” The winner and runner-up will be honored on Sept. 30 at BBC’s Radio Theatre, and the ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.