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'I can't understand why you like the short story'

11 September 2017

'If you had asked me a decade ago, I'd have said there was a distinction between how we and the rest of the world valued short stories. There is, however, a difference between what booksellers think we want and what the reading public want. I've been told, 'I can't understand why you like the short story' - but that's rare, and certainly not the opinion of BBC Radio 4 listeners. More than one million people tune in live - and that's not counting those who download it afterwards...

There was a time when media outlets to place stories were dying and BBC Radio 4 was valiantly going on. I've seen the landscape change. If I think about the number of short story collections that landed on my desk 12 years ago to now, we're getting more writers who are prepared to venture into the form.'

Di Speirs, BBC Radio's book editor, and long-time champion of the short story, behind the paywall in Bookbrunch. The shortlist for this year's BBC National Short Story Award Is announced on 15 September with broadcasts of the 5 shortlisted stories the following week.