At 26, Invermere born-and-raised author and David Thompson Secondary School graduate, David Wilson, has made history by becoming the youngest-ever winner of the BBC’s prestigious National Short Story Award.
Mr. Wilson, who writes under the pseudonym D.W. Wilson, nabbed the £15,000 (about $24,000 Canadian) prize for his short story ‘The Dead Roads’. The story is part of the young author’s recently released collection of short stories, Once You Break a Knuckle.
Mr. Wilson received the award at a gala in London on September 26th, while “Holding his breath with 149 other people.” Immediately after his win was announced, Mr. Wilson was interviewed for BBC Radio.
The national writing award, which is in its 6th year, is one of the most sought-after prizes for short story writers and is open to any author published in the U.K. Mr. Wilson moved to England as the recipient of the inaugural MAN Booker Prize Scholarship for the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia, where he is now a PhD candidate in Creative and Critical Writing.
Broadcaster Sue MacGregor, chair of the judging panel, said Mr. Wilson’s story stood out above the rest.
“The judges were unanimous in their choice of David Wilson’s story as the winner: a beautifully crafted and involving tale set in the Canadian Rockies,” Ms. MacGregor said. “His offbeat, slightly wayward quartet of characters stays with you long after your first reading. The plot is tightly controlled and builds the tension perfectly. A rattling good read.”
Mr. Wilson wasn’t phased about becoming the youngest winner. “There was a youngest-ever before me, and odds are there will be another youngest-ever in years to come,” he said. “It’s absolutely perfect timing in my career though, and it hopefully provides the ideal launch pad for a publishing deal in the UK. Fingers crossed.”