The stories shortlisted for the 2020 BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University demonstrate how a single moment might become momentous; how a small encounter or exchange can irreversibly change the way others see you, or the way you see yourself. From the struggles of two women trapped by joblessness and addiction to the hopes of two teenage brothers embarking on a new life without the protection of their parents, these stories show us what happens when we fail to relate to each other as well as the refuge that belonging affords. Now celebrating its fifteenth year, the BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning writer receiving AGBP15,000, and the four further shortlisted authors AGBP600 each. The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was established to raise the profile of the short form and the writers shortlisted for this year's award join distinguished alumni such as Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain, William Trevor, Sarah Hall and Mark Haddon. As well as rewarding the most renowned short story writers, the Award has raised the profile of new writers including Ingrid Persaud, Jo Lloyd, K J Orr, Julian Gough, Cynan Jones and Clare Wigfall.