This is pretty big news. There's a new annual competition "aimed at re-establishing the importance of the British short story" and wow, is there money to back the mission.
According to the website, the new award "is a collaboration between NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts), BBC Radio 4 and Prospect magazine, and it's funded by NESTA. It is administered in conjunction with Booktrust and Scottish Booktrust. The first winners will be announced in May 2006."
The site continues: "The National Short Story Prize will be the largest award in the world for a single story. The winning award is worth £15,000, and there will be a runner up award of £3,000. Three further shortlisted authors will receive awards of £500 each."
Entries must be received by November 30. For more details, including the entry form and the extensive list of terms and conditions (note that the competition is only open to "authors with a previous record of publication who are either UK nationals or residents. Entries may be stories published during 2005 or previously unpublished") again, check the website. NO ENTRY FEE INDICATED.
And for more information about short stories, check out story, Booktrust's "campaign to celebrate the short story." A very interesting resource!