KJ Orr wins BBC National Short Story Award

Congratulations to KJ Orr for winning the BBC national short story award for Disappearances! Orr’s victory was a surprise because many expected two-time Man Booker prize winner Hilary Mantel to win the award. Judge Kei Miller called Orr’s book in “a near perfect example of how the short story works – a small world that’s perfectly observed.”

The award grants the winner £15,000, to be given at the BBC’s Broadcasting House ceremony in Buenos Aires. Orr herself stated that “I 100% had not anticipated winning. I think my face was a total blank on stage,” she said. “The shortlist is pretty extraordinary, there are some amazing writers… I already felt pretty proud that I had two BBC shortlisted stories in my first collection, but this is just amazing. It is amazing to feel my work is rated in that way.” Her joy is overwhelming and much deserved.

Orr is planning to use that money to help her work on her next novel. She intends to break away from her usual short story style and try and write something with “a longer form.” Despite her words, she still would rather not label herself or her writing, “I stay away from labels as much as I can as I feel it is good for my mental health, and my imaginative capacity.” Orr is totally right here, we should spend less time labeling art and more time enjoying it. Congratulations again to KJ Orr for her amazing work, can’t wait for her next book!


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