Five Thousand Lads a Year

Series 2 - Episode 2 Five Thousand Lads a Year



Novelist Jenn Ashworth used to work as a librarian in a prison. The short story she's produced in Radio 4's strand for writers new to radio displays an insider's knowledge of life residing at Her Majesty's pleasure.

Paul Hilton reads the tale of a writer-in-residence who convinces the prison authorities to let him try to break a stalemate: a young offender refusing to eat or talk while in the segregation unit after he smashed up his cell.

Yet while the plot is slight, this is the perfect short story, dripping with atmosphere and allowing an insight into what it could be like to live with the everyday pressures and frustrations faced by those doing time.


Five Thousand Lads a Year, by Jenn Ashworth. A tale in which a confident writer-in-residence at a prison always succeeds with his workshops - but one new client has a chilling effect on him. Read by Paul Hilton.