A SWINDON-BORN prizewinning author has been revealed as one of the judges for this year's BBC National Short Story Award competition.

Richard Beard will be poring over the entries for the competition before he and his fellow judges shortlist the top four, who will receive £600 each and have the stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in an anthology.

Richard will then help to pick the winner, who will bag a whopping £15,000 prize.

Previous winners of the BBC's award include Lionel Shriver, Zadie Smith, Hilary Mantel, Jon McGregor and William Trevor.

Richard's six novels include Lazarus is Dead, Dry Bones and Damascus, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His most recent novel, Acts of the Assassins was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize, and he is the author of the memoir The Day That Went Missing which won the 2018 PEN Ackerley Award for literary autobiography.

The judging panel for the short story award will be chaired by Nikki Bedi, who said: "It is my favourite form of literature and there is nothing more delicious and perfect for me than devouring, digesting and loving a surprising and perfectly formed short story.

"There are so many undiscovered voices and stories waiting to be told out there and we’ll be in the privileged position of receiving and reading them. I’m looking forward to works that transport me to new places, physically and culturally."

Richard will be joined by short story writer and Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Daisy Johnson; screenwriter, novelist and last year's winner, Cynan Jones, and returning judge, Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.

The entry deadline for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University is 9am on Monday March 11 2019 For more information, visit bbc.co.uk/nssa and bbc.co.uk/ywa