Friday, July 06, 2012

Edge Hill Awards

Great night last night at the Edge Hill Award ceremony in London's Free Word Centre. I couldn't possibly have been rooting for any book in particular: the fabulous all-women shortlist included three books I've already been championing: A (Andrea) J Ashworth's Somewhere Else, or Even Here (Salt) which had already won the Scott Prize, Zoe Lambert's The War Tour (Comma) - both of which I nominated for the Readers' section of last year's Guardian First Book Award - and Sarah Hall's The Beautiful Indifference which I recently reviewed enthusiastically. The other two shortlisted books, which I hadn't read, were Tessa Hadley's Married Love (Cape) and Rowena MacDonald's Smoked Meat (Flambard). In the event, Sarah Hall won both the overall prize and the Readers' prize (judged by Edge Hill Creative Writing students). Congratulations to her, and to all the shortlistees. A truly lovely evening - a real hub of the short-story world, with a chance to catch up with short-story writers such as Adam Marek, Carys Bray,  judge and last year's winner Graham Mort, with mine and Andrea's publisher, Jen Hamilton-Emery, and with Ailsa Cox, my former co-editor on metropolitan magazine, who founded the prize. Here are some of them listening as judges Graham, Suzi Feay and Professor Rhiannon Evans talked about their difficulties in choosing from such a strong list. (Sarah Hall second from left, Jen Hamilton-Emery fourth from left, next to her Andrea Ashworth and Andrea's partner writer James Wall, Adam Marek in the check shirt and on his left and third from right Tessa Hadley.)

Here are Zoe and Andrea:

And here's a photo Jen took in the pub afterwards of Andrea, me and James:


Tania Hershman said...

It looks like such a lovely evening, so sad I was felled by such crazy jet lag I couldn't make it! Congrats to Sarah Hall and all the shortlistees (especially my mate Andrea and my former tutor, Tessa), damn, more books to buy :)

A. J. Ashworth said...
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A. J. Ashworth said...

It was a lovely evening, Tania - nice to chat to everyone, particularly Elizabeth, Jen and my former tutor Felicity Skelton (who has a story in the forthcoming Salt anthology 'Overheard'). And Tessa's really lovely. Didn't realise she was your tutor, T. I bet she was great.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Was very sorry that you weren't there, Tania. Hope you're over your jet lag quickly.