For the 7th year running, Comma Press are delighted to publish the BBC National Short Award in collaboration with Book Trust. Please find the highly anticipated shortlist of authors below! Copies of the book are available via our website in hardcopy or E-book form. I wonder who the winner will be?


Jonathan Buckley

‘Briar Road’

133665Jonathan Buckley studied English Literature at Sussex University, where he stayed on to take an MA. From there he moved to King’s College, London, where he researched the work of the Scottish poet/artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. After working as a university tutor, stage hand, maker of theatrical sets and props, bookshop manager, decorator and builder, he was commissioned in 1987 to write The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto. He went on to become an editorial director at Rough Guides, and to write further guidebooks on Tuscany & Umbria and Florence, as well as contributing to The Rough Guide to Classical Music and The Rough Guide to Opera. His first novel, The Biography of Thomas Lang, was published by Fourth Estate in 1997. It was followed by Xerxes (1999), Ghost MacIndoe (2001), Invisible (2004), So He Takes the Dog (2006), Contact (2010), Telescope (2011), Nostalgia (2013) and The river is the river (2015). From 2003 to 2005 he held a Royal Literary Fund fellowship at the University of Sussex, and from 2007 to 2011 was an Advisory Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. He also works as a freelance non-fiction editor.

Mark Haddon


mark haddonMark Haddon’s first novel for adults was the prizewinning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003), which was later adapted by Simon Stephens into a prize-winning play. His subsequent novels are A Spot of Bother (2006) and The Red House (2012). Mark has written for TV and radio and published a collection of poetry, The Talking Horse, the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea. His play, Polar Bears, was produced at the Donmar in 2010. His short story ‘The Gun’ was short listed for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the O’Henry Prize. The Pier Falls, a collection of his short stories, will be published by Cape in May 2016.

Frances Leviston

‘Broderie Anglais’

2012-02-01-Frances-Leviston-101-60percent-214x300Frances Leviston was born in Edinburgh in 1982 and grew up in Sheffield. She read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. Public Dream, her first collection of poetry, was published in 2007 by Picador and shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Her second collection, Disinformation, appeared from Picador in 2015. She lives in Durham.

Hilary Mantel

‘The Assasination of Margaret Thatcher’

Hilary-Mantel-RexHilary Mantel grew up in the Peak District in Derbyshire and was educated at a Cheshire convent school, the LSE and Sheffield University, graduating in law in 1973. She was subsequently a teacher and a social worker, living for 9 years in Africa and the Middle East. She became a full-time writer in the mid 1980s, and is the author of eleven novels, two short story collections and a memoir, Giving Up The Ghost. She writes both historical and contemporary fiction and her settings range from a South African township under apartheid to Paris in the Revolution, from a city in twentieth century Saudi Arabia to rural Ireland in the eighteenth century. Her novel Wolf Hall is about Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII. It won the 2009 Man Booker prize, the inaugural Walter Scott prize, and in the US won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her second Cromwell novel, Bring Up The Bodies, won the 2012 Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book of the year’ Award. Both novels were adapted for television, and she worked with the adapter Mike Poulton on a stage version which was performed in Stratford-upon-Avon, the West End and Broadway. She is a Governor of The Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2014 she published a book of short stories The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. She is currently working on the final novel of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy The Mirror & The Light. Hilary Mantel was appointed DBE in 2014. She lives with her husband in East Devon.

Jeremy Page

‘Do it Now, Jump the Table’

Page_Jeremy230x310Jeremy Page grew up on the North Norfolk coast. His first novel, Salt, (Penguin, 2007) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and the Jelf First Novel Award. His second novel, The Wake (Penguin, 2009), won the fiction prize at the East Anglian Book Awards, and was shortlisted for the New Angle
Prize. The Collector of Lost Things (Little Brown, 2013) was longlisted for the Dublin Imac Prize. He is also a scriptwriter and script editor for various UK film and TV companies, a journalist, and has taught Creative Writing at the UEA as well as tutoring and mentoring for various universities and at the London Film School. He lives in London and is married with three children.

BBC 2015


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