Episodes

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20181104

An original short work for radio.

Original short works for radio.

A Long Silence2018062220180623 (R4)

Silence takes on a new shape for Ethel in a house that is too big for her. By Remi Graves.

Original short works for radio.

As I Walked Out One Morning In May2018072720180728 (R4)

Death meets the Lady in this short story by Paul Evans, inspired by a 19th-century ballad.

Original short works for radio.

Celebrating The 2018 Bbc Young Writers Award2018101920181020 (R4)

Katie Thistleton presents a showcase of the shortlisted entries for this year's award.

Original short works for radio.

Deep Space Death Cruise2018083120180901 (R4)

A comic monologue about a doomed space cruise. By Harry Venning, and read by Jeff Rawle.

Original short works for radio.

Harry Venning's comic monologue about a doomed space cruise which even Jane McDonald cannot save.

It's 2118. Day three of Jeff's space cruise and already events are falling below his required standard. On his phone, he records his experience for the operator, Cosmic Tours of Hove, from whom he must surely get compensation.

Writer: Harry Venning
Reader: Jeff Rawle
Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Edinburgh2018081720180818 (R4)

By Kieran Hurley. What is Edinburgh Festival to the 22-year-old who grew up there?

Original short works for radio.

It's a dreich August morning during Edinburgh Festival and a 22 year-old student is home for summer, handing out flyers.

What does it feel like to have your home town turned into a stand-up comedy theme park for tourists every August? Edinburgh is an original short work for radio written and performed by Kieran Hurley. It's a story of soggy flyers, disappointing encounters and splitting headaches. It's also about that transient moment when teenage memories and adult hopes are as raw as each other.

Kieran Hurley is a writer, performer and theatre maker based in Glasgow. His Fringe First-winning play Heads Up won Best New Play at the Critics' Awards 2017 for Theatre in Scotland. Other plays include Rantin: a ceilidh-play with music; Hitch: an autobiographical story with a live band, and Beats: a monologue performed with a DJ, which is currently being adapted into a screenplay.

Written and performed by Kieran Hurley.
Produced by Eliza Lomas.

His Mother2018091420180915 (R4)

A story about the people missing from our lives. By Wendy Erskine.

Original short works for radio.

An original short story by the Northern Irish writer Wendy Erskine commissioned by BBC Radio 4. As read by the actress Ali White.

Wendy Erskine's writing has appeared in several publications including 'The Stinging Fly' literary magazine and the anthology 'Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland'. Her debut short story collection 'Sweet Home' has just been published by The Stinging Fly Press.

Reader....Ali White
Writer....Wendy Erskine
Producer....Michael Shannon.

Kind2018090720180908 (R4)

By James Meek. His Lordship, who's known as Gerry, is broke and lacking ideas.

Original short works for radio.

Like This2018101220181013 (R4)

A story about the reality, and unreality, of parenting. By Lucy Caldwell.

Original short works for radio.

An original short story specially commissioned by BBC Radio 4, written and read by the Northern Irish writer Lucy Caldwell.

Lucy Caldwell is an award-wining playwright and novelist. Her novels ‘The Meeting Point’ and ‘All the Beggars Riding’ were serialised on Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and her audio dramas include 'Mayday', ‘Notes to Future Self’, ‘Avenues of Eternal Peace’, ‘Quicksands’ and the Imison award winning ‘Girl from Mars’. Her debut short story collection 'Multitudes' was published by Faber in 2016.

Reader....Lucy Caldwell
Writer....Lucy Caldwell
Producer....Michael Shannon

Magic Spuds & Green Welts20181109

A shool sports day provides a father and son with an opportunity to prove their worth.

Original short works for radio.

My Boy Jack2018061520180616 (R4)

On a disastrous date, a man is haunted by the voice of his dead father. By Donal Ryan.

Original short works for radio.

Mathew Baynton reads a new short story by the Irish writer, Donal Ryan.

On their fifth, disastrous, date, Jack takes Bryony to Stonehenge and is haunted by the voice of his dead father.

Produced by Natalie Steed for BBC Northern Ireland

Reader....Matthew Baynton
Writer....Donal Ryan
Producer....Natalie Steed.

The Flood20181116

A ghost story set in an Indian monsoon, by new young Indian writer, Deepa Annapara.

Original short works for radio.

The Gleaning2018062920180630 (R4)

In Alison MacLeod's specially commissioned story past and present are intimately linked.

Original short works for radio.

In Alison MacLeod's specially commissioned short story past and present are intimately linked under Brighton's summer skies by the English painter, John Constable. Tristan Sturrock reads.

Alison MacLeod is a novelist and short story writer. Her most recent collection is All the Beloved Ghosts. Her most recent novel, Unexploded was long-listed for the 2013 Man-Booker Prize for Fiction. Her short fiction has been awarded The Society of Authors' Olive Cook Award and shortlisted for The BBC National Short Story Award and The Sunday Times EFG International Short Story Award. MacLeod is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester, UK.

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

The Good Son2018070620180707 (R4)

A weekend away at a meditation retreat offers Billy a respite from caring for his father.

Original short works for radio.

An original short story from the Irish novelist Louise O'Neill specially commissioned by BBC Radio 4. As read by Mark Doherty (Moone Boy, Nowehere Fast, A Film With Me In It).

Louise O'Neill is an Irish writer and journalist. Her first novel 'Only Ever Yours' was awarded The Bookseller's inaugural YA Book Prize 2015. Her follow up 'Asking For It' was voted Book of the Year at the Irish Books Awards 2015 and spent 34 weeks in the Irish top 10 bestseller list. It has since been adapted for stage and is being developed for screen. Her third novel 'Almost Love' was published this year to critical acclaim.

Writer....Louise O'Neill
Reader....Mark Doherty
Producer....Michael Shannon.

The Phone Box2018100520181006 (R4)

By Javaad Alipoor. When should you run away and when should you hide in a phone box?

Original short works for radio.

How does a boy learn when to run away, when to fight back and when to hide in a phone box? Written and performed by Javaad Alipoor, The Phone Box is a new short work for radio. It's a poetic monologue reflecting on those formative moments of childhood that stay with you, bright and ringing, into adulthood.

Javaad Alipoor is a writer, theatre maker and director who grew up in Bradford. He is resident associate director at Sheffield theatres and an associate director of Bradford's Theatre in the Mill. This is his Radio 4 debut.

His most recent play, 'The Believers Are But Brothers', invites audiences to experience the world of disaffected men online. It was Fringe First award winning and Total Theatre Nominated. His other plays include 'The Rising of the Moon' and 'Bassett.'

He also writes poetry and prose. His pamphlet 'The People Want a long form poem about the Arab Spring' was published by Art in Unusual Places. His essays and theory-fiction on global politics, philosophy and art have been published by Continuum and UnKant.

The Strandline2018081020180811 (R4)

Alex Tregear reads a story by Lucy Wood, acclaimed author of Diving Belles.

Original short works for radio.

A message in a bottle on a Cornish beach provides unexpected answers in this new story for Radio 4 by Lucy Wood.

Reader: Alex Tregear
Producer: Justine Willett
Writer: Lucy Wood is the author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories based on Cornish folklore Diving Belles. She has been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and was a runner-up in the BBC National Short Story Award.

The Wild Hunt2018102620181027 (R4)

by Zoe Gilbert. To impress a girl, a young man overnights in the forest.

Original short works for radio.

Two People Shorten The Road2018082420180825 (R4)

A Belfast taxi driver finds her life thrown into chaos when her passenger falls ill.

Original short works for radio.

An original short story for BBC Radio 4 from the Northern Irish writer Rosemary Jenkinson. As read by Julie Maxwell (BBC 'Soft Border Patrol').

Rosemary Jenkinson is a playwright and short story writer from Belfast. Winner of The Sunday Tribune's Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, she has published several short story collections including 'Contemporary Problems Nos. 53 and 54', ' Aphrodite's Kiss' and 'Catholic Boy'. Her work for radio includes 'Castlereagh to Kandahar' (BBC Radio 3) and 'The Blackthorn Tree' (BBC Radio 4).

Writer....Rosemary Jenkinson
Reader....Julie Maxwell
Producer....Michael Shannon.

Unfinished2018071320180714 (R4)

By Robert Shearman. A man dies but, at the Pearly Gates, he's sent back to earth.

Original short works for radio.

By Robert Shearman. A man dies but is turned back at the Pearly Gates and restored to mortal form to attend to some unfinished business.

Robert Shearman has written five short story collections and, between them, they have won the World Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award and the Edge Hill Readers Prize. He was resident dramatist at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter and regular writer for Alan Ayckbourn in Scarborough, and his interactive BBC radio series The Chain Gang won two Sony awards. But he is probably best known for his work on Doctor Who, bringing back the Daleks for the BAFTA winning first series in an episode nominated for a Hugo Award.

Writer: Robert Shearman
Reader: Miles Jupp
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

01A Century Of Results2018052520180526 (R4)

It is the summer of 1999 and expectation is riding high on GCSE results day.

Original short works for radio.

It's the summer of 1999 and expectation rides high for Jasmine on GCSE results day.

01A Hint Of Heather2018051820180519 (R4)

By Hannah Silva. Heather plans the colours for her new house with a perfectionist's eye.

Original short works for radio.

A Hint Of Heather by Hannah Silva.

As she prepares to buy her first house, Heather plans her colour scheme with a perfectionist's eye.

Hannah Silva is a poet, playwright and performer. Her latest solo show Schlock! splices Fifty Shades of Grey with a novel by Kathy Acker, celebrating 'the slipperiness of words, reinventing them so that none of them are safe' (The Guardian). Silva has been shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and has had three radio plays recognised in the Best Single Drama category at the BBC Audio Drama Awards. Her debut sound poetry record 'Talk in a bit' will be released in May 2018. 'A Hint Of Heather' is her first short story for radio.

Writer: Hannah Silva
Reader: Hattie Morahan
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

01Chuma By Lesley Nneka Arimah2018030920180311 (R4)

In Lesley Nneka Arimah's specially commissioned short story something precious is lost.

Original short works for radio.

In Lesley Nneka Arimah's specially commissioned short story something precious is lost.

Lesley Nneka Arimah is an award winning writer. She was the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa in 2015 and has twice been shortlisted for the Caine Prize. Her debut short story collection, What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, was published to acclaim in 2017.

The reader is Ony Uhiara.

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

01Clearing The Bones20180202

By acclaimed US writer Celeste Ng. A woman questions her sister's romantic choices.

In a newly commissioned story for Radio 4 by the award-winning Asian-American writer Celeste Ng, a woman questions her younger sister's romantic choices. But has she really given up art for love?

Writer: Celeste Ng is an acclaimed US writer. Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, won multiple awards and was a New York Times bestseller, and Amazon's Number 1 Best Book of 2014. Her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, has just been published.
Producer: Justine Willett
Reader: Laurel Lefkow.

01Craters2018050420180505 (R4)

By Chris Power. A young Australian woman in Cambodia fears she might be out of her depth.

Original short works for radio.

A new short story commissioned for Radio 4 by the acclaimed British author Chris Power.

Two young Australian women are on the hunt for a story in a Phnom Penh hotel. One of them fears she might be very much out of her depth...

Writer: Chris Power's short story collection, Mothers, has just been published. His 'Brief Survey of the Short Story' has appeared in the Guardian since 2007.
Reader: tbc
Producer: Justine Willett.

01Granny Flat20171215

By Cameron Raynes. Dan's son is leaving, but might his dad take over the flat?

By Cameron Raynes. While his son is preparing to leave the granny flat, Dan's father is struggling in a nursing home. Dan asks himself if there used to be more to life than this. A tale of mid-life crisis and the sandwich generation.

Cameron Raynes lives in Adelaide and teaches Aboriginal history at the University of South Australia. He is author of the short story collection The Colour of Kerosene and the novel First Person Shooter, which explores his personal experience of adolescent stuttering. Granny Flat is his first story for BBC radio.

Writer: Cameron Raynes
Reader: Richard Dillane
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

01Lease On Life20180302

The things you'll do for a flat in Zone 2. A short story for radio by Laurie Penny.

Original short works for radio.

The things you do for a flat in Zone 2. Lianne should've known it was too good to be true. A short story for radio by Laurie Penny.

Laurie Penny is an award-winning journalist, writer, activist, internet nanocelebrity and author of six books, including Unspeakable Things and Everything Belongs To The Future. Laurie writes essays, columns and gonzo journalism about politics, social justice, pop culture, feminism, technology, mental health and a splash of science fiction.

01Letter From Eurydice2017122220171224 (R4)

Eurydice's view on love and death from Hades. By Natalie Haynes.

Original short works for radio.

01Moderate To Poor, Occasionally Good20180126

A continuity announcer veers drastically off course while reading The Shipping Forecast.

A continuity announcer veers drastically off course during a live broadcast of The Shipping Forecast.

Written and read by Eley Williams, whose writing is "elegantly droll without the kind of hipster quirkiness that makes me want to hurl books at the wall." (Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent).

Produced by Becky Ripley.

01Old Clothes2018042020180421 (R4)

Alexa met Jim online. Jim didn't take it seriously. A short story by Anthony Adeane.

Original short works for radio.

01Portrait: Eric Gill Dreaming20180119

By Alison MacLeod. The artist Eric Gill dreams about his work and life.

The artist, or the man?

For most of the twentieth century, Eric Gill was known for his sculptures and drawings, printmaking and the iconic typeface that bears his name. But in 1989, Fiona MacCarthy's acclaimed biography of the artist - which included extensive research into Gill's private journals - revealed another side, including an incestuous relationship with his sister and the sexual abuse of two of his three daughters.

Since then, it has been difficult for many to approach his art in its previous light.

The Ditchling Museum Of Art And Craft mounted a major retrospective, Eric Gill: The Body, which ran from April to September 2017. This short story by Alison MacLeod, emerged from her time as one of the writers-in-residence for the exhibition. The voices sequence in the story is inspired by visitors' responses to the exhibition.

A work of creative non-fiction, Portrait: Eric Gill Dreaming imagines Gill in his house in Ditchling, asleep and dreaming about his work and life, and wondering whether or not they go together.

Which brings us back to the original question - the artist, or the man?

Alison MacLeod lives in Brighton. She was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2011 and her stories, including the series Imagining Chekhov, have featured previously on Radio 4. Her novel Unexploded was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and was broadcast as a Book At Bedtime. Her latest collection of stories, All The Beloved Ghosts, was published in 2017. Alison is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester.

Writer: Alison MacLeod
Reader: Indira Varma
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

01The Astonishing Good Fortune Of Marigold Castor2018040620180407 (R4)

Indira Varma reads a short story for Radio 4 by award-winning writer Lionel Shriver.

Original short works for radio.

Indira Varma reads a new story commissioned for Radio 4 by the award-winning writer Lionel Shriver.

Two fame-hungry young film-makers try to make it in London. But the road to fame is never simple...

Reader: Indira Varma is an acclaimed stage and TV actor, known most recently for her roles in Game of Thrones and Luther.
Writer: Lionel Shriver is an American author, best known for her novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005.
Producer: Justine Willett.

01The Boundary20171229

A short story for Radio 4 by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri.

A new story for Radio 4 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri. Set in a remote Italian village, a teenage girl, of immigrant parents, wonders why her life is so different from those of the happy, glossy young families who come to holiday there.

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri has won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for her debut short story collection, The Interpreter of Maladies and the Frank O'Connor Award for her collection Unaccustomed Earth. She has recently been awarded the 29th PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short story
Reader: Deeivya Meir
Abridged and produced by Justine Willett.

01The Killers Come At Dusk20180216

An original short story commissioned by BBC Radio 4. As read by Jonathan Forbes (Catastrophe).

'The Killers Come at Dusk' follows an Irish couple living in Lilongwe who, fearing that their child has contracted malaria, must confront every parent's nightmare as well as their own privilege.

Irish writer Eoin O'Connor has spent a number of years living in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2016 he was awarded the Imison Award for Best Radio Drama Script by a New Writer for his drama '30 Eggs'.

Writer....Eoin O'Connor
Reader....Jonathan Forbes
Producer....Michael Shannon.

A couple anxiously await the test results that will confirm if their child has malaria.

01The Last Pair Of Jordans20171201

On Christmas Eve, a beleaguered father searches for a present for his teenage son.

An original short story commissioned by BBC Radio 4 from the acclaimed Irish novelist Joseph O'Connor. As read by David Wilmot (Ripper Street, Black Sails, The Guard.)

Joseph O'Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of eight novels as well as two collections of short stories and a number of bestselling works of non-fiction. He has received numerous awards including the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature.

Writer....Joseph O'Connor
Reader....David Wilmot
Producer....Michael Shannon.

01The Last Place2018033020180331 (R4)

By Julie Mayhew. When Annie skives off school, she hides in the cathedral.

Original short works for radio.

Written by Julie Mayhew. When Peterborough teenager Annie skives off school, she hides in the last place anyone will find her - the cathedral, by the tomb of Catherine of Aragon. But when an older woman, Verity, starts using the same spot, the pair strike up a bitter territorial battle.

Julie Mayhew is the author of four novels - Red Ink, The Big Lie, Mother Tongue and, soon-to-be published, The Electrical Venus. Her series of stories, Rapunzel, was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2015. Her Afternoon Dramas have been twice nominated for Best Original Drama at the BBC Audio Drama Awards. Her most recent play, Polygamy For Girls, was part of Radio 4's 2018 feminist season, Riot Girls.

Writer: Julie Mayhew
Reader: Bryony Hannah
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

01The Man Who Loved Birds20180223

By Alex Preston. A man who grew up surrounded by birds and birdsong misses them badly when, as an adult, he lives and works in the city. He decides to solve the problem by setting off on a journey.

Alex Preston is an author and journalist and teaches creative writing at the University of Kent. His most recent novel, In Love and War, was produced as a Book at Bedtime for BBC Radio 4. His personal anthology of nature writing, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, was published in 2017. Alex lives in Kent with his wife and two children.

Writer: Alex Preston
Reader: Joe Sims
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

By Alex Preston. A man goes on a journey in search of birdsong.

01Three Spins, A Wednesday2018051120180512 (R4)

Three trips in her car offer Bee three chances to unburden herself. By Danny Denton.

Original short works for radio.

An original short story commissioned by BBC Radio 4 from the Irish writer Danny Denton and read by Hilary Rose (BBC Three's 'Young Offenders')

Bee spends her evening driving back and forth and round the same roundabout, dropping off and picking up various family members, only to find her own thoughts inevitably circling back to an unspoken secret.

Danny Denton is a writer from Cork, Ireland. He has published fiction and non-fiction in various journals and publications including The Irish Times, Irish Examiner and The Stinging Fly. His first novel 'The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow' was published in 2018.

Writer: Danny Denton
Reader: Hilary Rose
Producer: Natalie Steed for BBC NI.

01Unmade2018041320180414 (R4)

A dreamlike meditation on life and ageing from Irish author David Hayden.

Original short works for radio.

An original short story commissioned by BBC Radio 4 from the acclaimed Irish writer David Hayden. As read by Jane Brennan ('Brooklyn', 'The Tudors')

David Hayden's writing has appeared in gorse, The Yellow Nib, The Moth, The Stinging Fly, Spolia and The Warwick Review, and poetry in PN Review. His debut short story collection 'Darker With The Lights On' was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2018.

Writer....David Hayden
Reader....Jane Brennan
Producer....Michael Shannon.

01What Does The Fox Say?20180112

A story of cluttered gardens, rotting memories and the many possible uses of a brick.

An original short story commissioned by BBC Radio 4, written and read by the novelist and broadcaster Ian Sansom.

Ian Sansom is the author of several books, including the popular Mobile Library Mystery Series. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 as well as a frequent contributor and critic for, among others, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books and The Spectator.

Writer....Ian Sansom
Reader....Ian Sansom
Producer....Michael Shannon.

0101The Liquid You By Ben Norris2017040720170409 (R4)

What becomes of a place once you leave it and move on? And what about the people we leave behind, or who leave us? Is it memory we carry, or myth? The Liquid You is a new short work for radio written and performed by Ben Norris. It's a poetic monologue about home and history, death and departures, and how sometimes it's easier to love an idea than reality.

Ben Norris is a poet, playwright and actor, originally from Nottingham. This is his Radio 4 debut.

Ben was the UK All-Star Poetry Slam Champion 2013 and has since performed his spoken-word across the country, from Latitude Festival to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. His first poetry pamphlet was published in 2014 and his debut solo show, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Family', won the 2015 IdeasTap Underbelly Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before touring the UK extensively in autumn 2016, finishing with a sell-out run at Southbank Centre. He hosts 'Cadence,' a monthly poetry and music night in East London, and in March 2016 he launched PAW - his attempt to record and publish a Poem A Week on Youtube for a year. His debut short film was produced by Channel 4, for which Ben was nominated for Best New Talent at the 2016 Royal Television Society Awards.

As an actor he has performed with the National Theatre, Frantic Assembly, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse, RSC, and National Theatre Wales, and his writing for the stage has been performed at Theatr Clwyd, Leicester Curve, Theatre 503 and the Royal Court. He trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, before which he studied English with Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham.

Written and performed by Ben Norris

Produced by Mair Bosworth.

An original short work for radio by writer and performer Ben Norris.

0102Pork Cooked With Prunes In Vouvray2017041420170416 (R4)

On the menu in Tessa Hadley's specially commissioned short story there's food for thought.

In Tessa Hadley's specially commissioned short story a 1970s dinner party leads Alison to reflect on the truths obscured by glamour and privilege. Read by Kate O'Flynn.

Tessa Hadley is the author of six novels, and three short story collections, the most recent is the critically acclaimed Bad Dreams and Other Stories.

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

0103Tonight, For The First Time2017042120170423 (R4)

Short story by Zoe Strachan, inspired by a piece of music. Read by Ann Louise Ross.

A new story by Zoe Strachan, inspired by a piece of music.
Northern Soul and a crumbling modernist ruin come together in a story of missed chances and lasting love.
Written by Zoe Strachan
Read by Ann Louise Ross
Music: 'Long After Tonight Is All Over' performed by Jimmy Radcliffe
Producer: Eilidh McCreadie.

A new story by Zoe Strachan, inspired by a piece of music.

Northern Soul and a crumbling modernist ruin come together in a story of missed chances and lasting love.

Written by Zoe Strachan

Read by Ann Louise Ross

Music: 'Long After Tonight Is All Over' performed by Jimmy Radcliffe

Producer: Eilidh McCreadie.

0104On The Beach2017042820170430 (R4)

David Park is one of Northern Ireland's most acclaimed novelists. He has won the Authors' Club First Novel Award, the Bass Ireland Arts Award for Literature, the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the University of Ulster's McCrea Literary Award, three times. In 2014 he was longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His novel 'The Truth Commissioner' was also recently adapted into a feature film starring Roger Allam.

Producer - Michael Shannon.

An elderly veteran makes an unexpected request of his son: a trip to the seaside.

David Park is one of Northern Ireland's most acclaimed novelists. He has won the Authors' Club First Novel Award, the Bass Ireland Arts Award for Literature, the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the University of Ulster's McCrea Literary Award, three times. In 2014 he was longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His novel 'The Truth Commissioner' was also recently adapted into a feature film starring Roger Allam.

Producer....Michael Shannon.

0105Roots And Wings20170505

By Carys Bray. Edna reflects on the unknowability of other people.

Roots and Wings by Carys Bray. A specially-commissioned story by the author of Sweet Home, A Song For Issy Bradley and The Museum Of You.

While painting sunflowers on the coffin she has pre-emptively bought, Edna's friend Pearl makes a throwaway comment that leads Edna to reflect on a past holiday and the essential unknowability of other people.

Carys Bray was awarded the Scott Prize for her debut short-story collection, Sweet Home. Her first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and winner of the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2015. She lives in Southport with her husband and four children.

Writer: Carys Bray
Reader: Susan Jameson
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0106The Mawkin20170512

An original short work for radio by Tom Cox, author of The Good, the Bad and the Furry.

A journey through the weird fields of East Anglia, into the very heart of Scarecrow Country. The Mawkin is an original short work for radio by Tom Cox about uncanny landscapes, an awkward first date and getting well weathered.

Since quitting his job as The Guardian newspaper's Rock Critic in 2000,Tom Cox has written eight books, including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller The Good, The Bad And The Furry, and the follow-up Close Encounters Of The Furred Kind. He is also the creator of the much-loved @mysadcat and @myswearycat Twitter accounts. His new nature book, 21st Century Yokel, will be published in autumn by Unbound.

Written and Performed by Tom Cox
Produced by Mair Bosworth.

0107Extrapolation As An Art Form In The Lobby Of The John Muir20170519

In Joshua Ferris's artful new story a novelist finds himself in a tough spot.

In Joshua Ferris' specially commissioned short story, a writer living in a New York apartment building is put in a tough spot when one of the doormen requests an honest assessment of his first screenplay. William Hope reads this artful tale.

The novelist Joshua Ferris is best known for his acclaimed and award winning novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. His acutely observed debut short story collection The Dinner Party is published in June 2017.

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

0108I Don't Want To Grow Up20170526

By Philip O Ceallaigh. A writer in an unnamed city struggles to focus.

0109Relic20170602

The story of a monastery on a tiny island in the Atlantic and the holy relic found there.

There's a story about an island off the coast of Ireland. A story about how the old gods tipped the monks living there into the drink. And there's a second story about love and calligraphy, starring a monk and an immortal, a princess no less. And it doesn't end well either. As read by Tadhg Murphy (Guerrilla, Black Sails, Vikings)

Jess Kidd was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo. Her debut novel 'Himself' was published in last year to rave reviews and she was recently awarded The 2016 Costa Short Story Award.

Writer....Jess Kidd
Reader....Tadhg Murphy

Producer....Michael Shannon.

0110Companions20170609

By Adam Marek. A young man confides in his grandmother about his robot partner.

Companions by Adam Marek. Specially-commissioned for Radio 4.

A young man confides in his grandmother about problems in his relationship. Unfortunately, she knows nothing at all about problems with robots.

Adam Marek is the award-winning writer of two short story collections - Instruction Manual For Swallowing and The Stone Thrower - which featured on Radio 4 Extra as The Stories Of Adam Marek in 2014. A specially-commissioned story, The Bullet Racers, was broadcast later that year on Radio 4 as part of the series Short Rides In Fast Machines. He was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His story The 40-Litre Monkey was included in The Penguin Book Of The British Short Story in 2015.

Writer: Adam Marek
Reader: Lee Ingleby
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0111The Beautiful Girl20170616

An original short work for radio by Australian writer Sophie Townsend.

As a teenager, Sophie Townsend was swotty and awkward, bookish and unsophisticated. She used to watch the pretty, popular girls across the playground as if they were creatures from another planet. Now a mother herself, she is mystified by her 14-year-old daughter, who is more interested in make-up than books, and who struggles with her grades at school. She is one of the pretty ones. Perhaps too pretty for her own good...

The Beautiful Girl is an original short work for radio by Sophie Townsend, a radio producer, writer and storyteller. Sophie is part of ABC Radio's Creative Audio Unit and has produced work for the BBC and the CBC. She lives in Sydney with her gorgeous daughters and beloved dog, Charlie.

Producer: Mair Bosworth.

An original short work for radio by Australian writer Sophie Townsend.

Sophie Townsend works as a radio producer, writer and storyteller. She is part of ABC Radio's Creative Audio Unit, where she works on projects as a script and story editor. She has produced work for the BBC and the CBC, and her work has been featured at the Third Coast and Hear Say Festivals. Sophie lives in Sydney with her gorgeous daughters and beloved dog, Charlie.

0112The Storyteller20170623

In Julianne Pachico's short story, a Colombian summer's evening takes an unexpected turn.

In Julianne Pachico's specially commissioned short story for Radio 4 it's a very special night for Carolina and Mattias. Their sixth grade teacher, the exotically named Ms Damson, has been invited for a summer BBQ, but as the evening lengthens, the stories at the dinner table take an unexpected turn. The reader is Joseph Balderrama.

Julianne Pachico is a British-American writer who grew up in Cali, Colombia. Her debut collection, Lucky, was published to critical acclaim early in 2017. Each of the linked stories is set in Colombia between 1993 and 2013 which were especially violent years during the country's long conflict. The stories capture the harsh reality of growing up in a place where the guerrilla insurgency is never far from view, and at the same time they have a lyrical and hallucinatory quality to them that is both compelling and unsettling.

The producer is Elizabeth Allard.

0113Super Rich Kids20170630

Molly McGrann's story pulls back the curtain on the lives of the extremely wealthy.

0114The Road To True Love20170707

Once, the road to true love ran through the townland of Faha in the west of Ireland.

A new story by the acclaimed Irish novelist Niall Williams, author of the 2014 Man Booker Prize longlisted 'History of the Rain'. Williams has written several best selling novels, including 'Four Letters of Love' and 'The Fall of Light', and has lived in County Clare in the west of Ireland for over thirty years.

Reader....Dermot Crowley
Writer....Niall Williams
Producer....Michael Shannon.

0115The New World20170714

By Federica Lugaresi. Events make Gustav remember the Prague of his youth.

Events after a concert on London's South Bank transport Gustav back to the Prague of his youth. Written by Federica Lugaresi and specially-commissioned for Radio 4.

Federica Lugaresi is from Cesena, Italy, and now lives in London. In 2016 she graduated from Birkbeck with an honours degree in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in The Mechanics' Institute Review Online, and has been shortlisted for the Fish Publishing Short Story Prize and the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. The New World is her first story for radio.

Writer: Federica Lugaresi
Reader: Jonathan Coy
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0116The Volunteer20170721

An original short work for radio by Anthony Anaxagorou.

A young man goes to volunteer with a refugee rescue mission in the Mediterranean, leaving behind the complications of his own life in the UK. An original short work for radio, written and read by Anthony Anaxagorou.

Anthony Anaxagorou is an award-winning poet, short story writer, publisher and poetry educator. He has published several volumes of poems and essays, a spoken word EP and a collection of short stories whilst having also written for theatre. He was a judge for the 2016 BBC Young Writers Award and is currently the poet in residence at several London schools where he teaches poetry and creative writing. He founded Out-Spoken Live in 2012 and Out-Spoken Press in 2013.

Produced by Mair Bosworth
Written and performed by Anthony Anaxagorou

Music - Tareek 3treet by Yousef Kekhia.

A young man goes to volunteer with a refugee rescue mission in the Mediterranean, leaving behind the complications of his own life in the UK. An original short work for radio, written and read by Anthony Anaxagorou.

Anthony Anaxagorou is an award-winning poet, short story writer, publisher and poetry educator. He has published several volumes of poems and essays, a spoken word EP and a collection of short stories whilst having also written for theatre. He was a judge for the 2016 BBC Young Writers Award and is currently the poet in residence at several London schools where he teaches poetry and creative writing. He founded Out-Spoken Live in 2012 and Out-Spoken Press in 2013.

Produced by Mair Bosworth
Written and performed by Anthony Anaxagorou

Music - Tareek 3treet by Yousef Kekhia and Bisher Hafez.

0117The Bridgewalker20170728

Jamie Parker reads Sarah Hall's story set in a rural town in America's Northwest.

In Sarah Hall's specially commissioned short story for Radio 4, a local eccentric has a strange effect on a rural town in America's Northwest. Who was the totemic figure who walked and walked the bridges of Snake Canyon? And why did he do it?

Sarah Hall is a highly acclaimed and award-winning British novelist, whose works include: Haweswater (which won the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award), The Electric Michelangelo (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize) and Wolf Border (winner of the James Tait Memorial Prize). Her short story, Mrs Fox won the BBC National Shorts Story Award in 2014.

Produced by Justine Willett.
Read by Jamie Parker: an acclaimed British actor, who came to prominence as part of the original cast of Alan Bennett's The History Boys. He recently won a Best Actor Olivier Award for his role as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

0118The Loop20170804

Story by Linda Cracknell. A retired cyclist helps a friend's son deal with a sad loss.

A retired bicycle repairman is slowly inveigled into helping the son of a former friend deal with a difficult loss. A new short story by Linda Cracknell that captures the awkwardness of two men from different generations skirting around the subject of grief.

Read by Paul Young

Written by Linda Cracknell

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

0119Mind How You Go20170811

A young man working in a London hotel struggles with an elderly co-worker called Nollaig.

A new original short story by the acclaimed Irish novelist John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) specially commissioned for BBC Radio 4. Read by the Irish actor Peter McDonald (Moone Boy, The Stag)

Awarded the Hennessy Literary 'Hall of Fame' Award for his body of work, the New York Times number 1 Bestselling author has multiple Irish Book Awards including Children's Book of the Year, People's Choice Book of the Year and Short Story of the Year. He has also been awarded a number of international literary awards, including the Que Leer Award for Novel of the Year in Spain and the Gustav Heinemann Peace Prize in Germany.

Writer....John Boyne
Reader....Peter McDonald
Producer....Michael Shannon.

0120Cut And Paste20170818

By Anya Lipska. An unusual student shadows Cassie's work in the mortuary.

A short story by Anya Lipska, the author of the Kiszka and Kershaw crime novels.

Cassie Raven is a young mortuary attendant. She's used to having students shadowing her work - but there's something unusual about this one.

Anya Lipska's crime thrillers, set in East London, follow the adventures and investigations of Janusz Kiszka, tough guy and fixer to the Polish community, and sharp-elbowed young police detective Natalie Kershaw. The third novel in the series, A Devil Under the Skin, was published in June 2015. Anya is married to a Pole and lives in East London. Originally trained as a journalist, she now works as a TV producer. Her first story for radio, Another Kind Of Man, was part of the Angielski series in 2015.

Writer: Anya Lipska
Reader: Ellie Kendrick
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0121Boys Grown Tall20170825

An original short work for radio by the playwright and film-maker Matt Grinter.

"My eight year old daughter is cooler than me, FACT. Yes she has a rather questionable taste in music and she wears more neon than I'm comfortable with, but get her in a room and she owns it".

Boys Grown Tall is an original short work for radio about fatherhood, raising daughters and playing the drums.

Matt Grinter is a writer and director working in both theatre and film. He was the winner of the Papatango Prize for new writing in 2016 for his debut play ORCA for which he was shortlisted for 'most promising new playwright' at the 'Off West End' awards. His play THE DOG AND THE ELEPHANT ran at the Bristol Old Vic Studio and Vault Fest, produced in conjunction with Ferment. Matt is currently one of the Open Session Writers on attachment at the Bristol Old Vic. His short films include TEA LEAVES, SMALL TALK, JESSIE and THE PARTY PHOTOGRAPHER. Matt is also the artistic director of Red Rope Theatre Company, which he formed in 2012 with actor-producer Rebecca Robson

Read by Stuart McLoughlin
Produced by Mair Bosworth.

"My eight year old daughter is cooler than me, FACT. Yes she has a rather questionable taste in music and she wears more neon than I'm comfortable with, but get her in a room and she owns it". 'Boys Grown Tall' is an original short work for radio about fatherhood, raising daughters and playing the drums.

Matt Grinter is a writer and director working in both theatre and film. He was the winner of the Papatango Prize for new writing in 2016 for his debut play ORCA for which he was shortlisted for 'most promising new playwright' at the 'Off West End' awards. His play THE DOG AND THE ELEPHANT ran at the Bristol Old Vic Studio and Vault Fest, produced in conjunction with Ferment. Matt is currently one of the Open Session Writers on attachment at the Bristol Old Vic. His short films include TEA LEAVES, SMALL TALK, JESSIE and THE PARTY PHOTOGRAPHER. Matt is also the artistic director of Red Rope Theatre Company, which he formed in 2012 with actor-producer Rebecca Robson.

0122Joseph20170901

An original short work for radio by the playwright and film-maker Matt Grinter.

0123Swim20170908

Short story by Emma Flint, author of acclaimed debut novel Little Deaths.

A man returns to the lakeside cabin that belonged to his late parents. Abandoned for decades, it was the scene of his brother's death as a young boy. An atmospheric short story by Emma Flint, author of the acclaimed debut novel 'Little Deaths'.

Reader: Simon Donaldson

Writer: Emma Flint

Producer: Kirsteen Cameron.

0124The Unknown20170915

A year after her husband's death, Evelyn learns a stranger has been posing as his widow.

An original short story commissioned by Radio 4. As read by the acclaimed Irish actress Ruth McCabe (Philomena, Catastrophe.)

Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland's most prolific writers. His radio plays for BBC Radio 4 include 'The Night Manager' and 'The Fortunestown Kid'. The audio version of his novel 'The Woman's Daughter' has been broadcast in seven countries and won the Worldplay Award for best script.

Reader....Ruth McCabe
Writer....Dermot Bolger
Producer....Michael Shannon.

0125My Chemo Brain20170929

By Susmita Bhattacharya. The author's life after breast cancer and chemotherapy.

By Susmita Bhattacharya. An auto-biographical piece of creative non-fiction about the challenges Susmita faced after breast cancer and, in particular, after chemotherapy.

Susmita Bhattacharya was born in Mumbai and sailed the world on oil tankers before settling down in the UK. She is an associate lecturer at Winchester University and leads the SO:Write Young Writers' workshops in Southampton. Her first story for radio, The Summer Of Learning, was broadcast in 2015. Her debut novel, The Normal State of Mind, was published the same year. Her short stories and poems have been widely published in the UK and internationally. She lives in Winchester with her family and cat named after a Bollywood star.

Writer: Susmita Bhattacharya
Reader: Susmita Bhattacharya
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0126Firecracker20171006

Fiery flash fiction by Marietta Kirkbride about magic bars, mojitos and house fires.

Fiery flash fiction by Marietta Kirkbride about magic bars, mojitos and house fires.

Kieran's whole life is card magic; showmanship, mathematics, slight-of-hand. Until a newcomer at the bar where he work disrupts the order of things, and his tricks take a turn for the worse.

Writer: Marietta Kirkbride
Reader: Oliver Bardell
Producer: Becky Ripley.

0127Hurricane Season20171013

Maxine Beneba Clarke's specially written short story about the fallout from a hurricane.

Maxine Beneba Clarke's specially written short story is about the fall out from a devastating hurricane which compels Nico and his son Elias to rebuild their lives in a new land. Read by Damian Lynch.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian writer and slam poetry champion of Afro-Caribbean descent. She is the author of the poetry collections Gil Scott Heron is on Parole and Nothing Here Needs Fixing. Her award winning debut short story collection, Foreign Soil was published in 2014, and The Hate Race, her powerful memoir about growing up black in white middle-class Australia was published in 2017.

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

0128Run20171020

Short story by Ruth Thomas, read by Alexandra Mathie.

0129The Midnight Sandwich20171027

A story of twin sisters and midnight feasts from Irish writer-performer Eva O'Connor.

An original short story for Radio 4 from the writer/performer Eva O'Connor. Eva's one woman show 'My Name is Saoirse' won the First Fortnight Award at the Dublin Fringe 2014 and the Argus Angel at the Brighton Fringe 2015. Eva's recent play 'Overshadowed', about a young girl's struggle with anorexia, won the 2015 Fishamble New Writing Award and has recently been adapted into a 8 x 10′ series for BBC3.

Writer....Eva O'Connor
Reader....Eva O'Connor
Producer....Michael Shannon.

0130The Curse20171103

By Agnieszka Dale. Things come to a head over dinner with Annie's in-laws.

By Agnieszka Dale. Annie's condition leads her to utter exotic curses at those around her. Over a cabbage dinner of many colours, things come to a head with her in-laws.

Agnieszka Dale is a Polish-born London-based author. Her stories Fox Season and A Happy Nation appeared on Radio 4 in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Her first collection, Fox Season and Other Short Stories, was published in October 2017.

Writer: Agnieszka Dale
Reader: Daniela Denby-Ashe
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

0131Hold Me In Your Light20171110

: Written and performed by World Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker.

Hold Me in Your Light. Written and performed by World Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker.

Dan is the stag at his own stag do. It's a surreal ordeal. He feels detached, anxious about the marriage but unable to speak about feelings to his fellow stags. He escapes to the roof of the bar and sees the people below in the streets of the city he loves. For the first time he notices them glow, leaving trails of light as they move. Perhaps he's found an answer to his doubts.

Producer Mary Ward-Lowery.

0132Neighbours Of Zero20171117

By Peter Bradshaw. The perils of the betting shop are comically revealed.

In Neighbours of Zero by Peter Bradshaw, the perils of the betting shop are comically revealed:

"Now here's the thing: I lose as well.. Just a bit.. Let me explain.." - and so the narrator does, which involves a neat new system, a betting shop heist, and moral retribution of sorts..

Reader Daniel Mays

Producer Duncan Minshull.