Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dusting etc

Everything's done and dusted for me at the moment, writing-wise, and I'm actually getting back to my life! Yesterday I did a waist-high pile of ironing, and discovered clothes I'd forgotten I had but hadn't actually missed as I've hardly been out since January. This afternoon I'm going to tackle  a huge pile of mending - I know, it's archaic, but when you're on the income (what income?) of a writer... And then I may have to turn my attention to some cleaning: now that I have started to look around me again I have noticed that the spiders have been as busy as me... And joy of joys, I'm back to reading...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Edge Hill short story prize

Well, I expected that when I got to the end of my big writing stint I'd get back to blogging more frequently, but it hasn't happened... I've had so many practical things to catch up on (including a week spent decorating!), I've been away twice, and other, more journalistic work has been piling in. One of my trips was to London and included the Edge Hill award ceremony on Thursday, at which Graham Mort won the prize for his collection Touch (Seren) and Salt author Tom Vowler won the Reader's Choice prize (chosen by sixth formers) for a story from his debut collection, The Method and Other Stories. The other shortlisted authors were Polly Samson for Perfect Lives (Virago), Helen Simpson with In-Flight Entertainment (Cape), and Michele Roberts with Mud: Stories of Sex and Love (Virago).

As Graham (left) was in Africa, Seren fiction editor Penny Thomas received his prize instead and read from the message he'd sent (below).


I've been to so few events in the past few months and am consequently so out of touch with taking photos at them that I  failed to get a photo of Tom receiving his prize, but this was also partly because he was so surprised to get it, it seemed, that he had no speech prepared and didn't hang around at the front! Here he is, though, in the audience beforehand (centre) and looking as though a prize was the last thing on earth he expected:

On the left of him is Adam Marek, author of the short-story collection Instruction Manual for Swallowing (Comma) and just behind on the right Robert Shearman, who won the Reader's Choice prize last year and was short-listed in 2008 with his collection Tiny Deaths (Comma).

I really can't believe, either, that I didn't get photos of the other shortlisted authors, who were all there. It's all just too exciting, you see, after being incarcerated at my desk for so long...

As for my own project: I've now had feedback from my early readers: mostly typos, but one reader thought I should excise a (small) section which she didn't think added to the whole, and I have decided she's right. Also, an inconsistency occurred to me out of the blue one day (and when I mentioned it to that reader she said that she'd also noticed it), so that's another thing to see to, and I'm hoping to get down to finalising the ms in the next few days. And funnily enough, when I went outside to the garden this morning, I noticed the jackdaws flying back in to their previously emptied nest. Brooding again, perhaps, just as I'm about to start brooding the novel once more...