We All Need Good News…

It’s been a challenging time for me recently, so it was lovely to receive two bits of good news this week. I was awarded a travel grant to help towards some of the costs of travelling to Crete for research on a new work this year, and I heard that a story of mine will be published in Hobart, a literary journal in the US (http://www.hobartpulp.com/).

(The image is a photograph of a photograph – of Chania port when I lived there in 1969.)

Seagull Pie at Winchester Writers’ Festival Writing Competitions

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I was very pleased to hear that a first draft chapter of my new work, Seagull Pie, written this year at a Freefall Writing retreat in Portugal, won a ‘Highly Commended’ award at the 2015 Winchester Writers’ Festival Writing Competitions.

As part of the award, we receive feedback from the judges:

This was a very good account of a moment of departure told from a child’s point of view. The writing is full of detail and is extremely funny in places. I liked that this isn’t an airbrushed account. At times the experience feels uncomfortable and that is conveyed in the writing. This is a well told story that includes a real sense of tension and jeopardy. There are strong characters and complex family relationships are conveyed. I finished with vivid impressions of mother, Bonma, Michael and the dog. In a strong field this piece deserved its place on the shortlist.

Summer Literary Seminars

This morning I received a lovely note from Mikhail Iossel, director of the Summer Literary Seminars telling me that my novel excerpt entry had “Strong, interesting, inventive writing. Really quite accomplished.”

I was a shortlisted contest finalist and have been offered a “merit-based fellowships” to Summer Literary Seminars in either Lithuania or Kenya:

“Our programs this year will take place in Lithuania (July 14 – July 27) and Kenya (December 8 – 21), and will feature a wide variety of internationally renowned faculty and guests, including innovative writers, poets, translators, literary scholars, publishers, and artists. Another unique feature of the SLS programs is our close cooperation with the local literary and artistic communities, and the sheer degree of our program participants’ immersion in the local culture. We enable our students to the see the place “from within,” as it were: through the eyes of the local writers and artists, whether in East-Central Europe or East Africa.For more information about our 2013 programs, please visit our website at www.sumlitsem.org.”

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Winter News: reviews and awards

A nice little write up in The Southern Star, a local Cork paper:

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Reviews of my short story, “So Long, Marianne” in the Unthology No 3:

Sabotage – October 16, 2012 Review by Charlotte Barnes
Bookmunch – October 11, 2012 Review by Fran Slater

And my flash story, “Minotaur” was short listed for Lightship Publishing’s The Lightship International Flash Fiction Prize and will be published in their anthology in November.

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Bridport Prize 2012

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I’m delighted to announce that one of my short stories won a ‘Highly Commended’ award for the Bridport Prize, 2012. It is a great honour, the competition is one of the most highly regarded in the UK – and worldwide. There were over 6000 entries for the short story section alone.

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I attended the award ceremony and champagne lunch which was held at the Bridport Arts Centre on Sunday 14th October. The judge for the short story section of the prize was the wonderful writer Patrick Gale.

I had known Patrick in the 80’s – we both worked in the world’s worst restaurant in Covent Garden (it had a short life, it’s now no longer I’m happy to say). It was wonderful to see Patrick again, I’d been following his progress over the years and enjoying his novels. I hasten to add that the stories for the competition were read anonymously, and that there were no restrictions in the fine print about knowing the judge. ( I did in fact, decide NOT to submit a certain story that Patrick might have gleaned who the author was, set in that awful restaurant).

It was also lovely to meet some of the other award winners, and to wander around the very pretty village. I also went to my first Quaker Meeting on Sunday morning prior to the award ceremony, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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