Page last updated at 19:47 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Kate Clanchy wins National Short Story Award

Kate Clanchy
Clanchy has worked as the poet in residence for the Red Cross

Poet Kate Clanchy has won this year's BBC National Short Story Award with her second attempt at a short story.

The 44-year-old beat a shortlist which included past Orange Prize winners Lionel Shriver and Naomi Alderman and Bafta-nominated writer Jane Rogers.

Clanchy won for her story The Not-Dead and The Saved, about parental love and sacrifice set in a hospital ward.

She receives a winner's cheque for £15,000, while Sarah Maitland was awarded £3,000 as runner-up.

Each of the other shortlisted authors were awarded £500 at a ceremony in London.

The judges praised Clancy's story for its "rich lyricism" and "deeply affecting style".

'Extremely powerful'

Chair of judges, Tom Sutcliffe said: "Kate Clanchy's story was the unanimous choice of the judging panel.

"An account of a deeply painful experience that we felt had become richer on every re-reading. We were all impressed by its acute control of emotional tone and by the vividness and generosity of the writing."

Singer Will Young, who was also on the panel of judges, said the varied entries in the competition this year all shared themes of deeper importance.

"Through their shortness they put forward some very simple notions of love, loss, sacrifice and difference extremely powerfully and I have found them very moving," he said.

Clanchy was born in Glasgow in 1965 and educated in Edinburgh and Oxford. She currently lives in Oxford where she now works as a teacher, journalist and freelance writer.

More than 600 entries were received for this year's award which is open to authors who have had some history of publication and who are UK residents.

Last year's award was won by Clare Wigfall for her story Numbers, which appeared in her debut collection The Loudest Sound and Nothing.

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