Monday, August 12, 2019

Edge Hill Prize and other matters.

The Edge Hill Prize shortlist has been announced, and novelist Tessa Hadley (last year's winner), journalist and Galley Beggar publisher Sam Jordison and I now have six weeks to read the six books, and to choose a winner. It's a wonderful list, and I can't wait to get reading:

Three of these books, Mothers by Chris Power, Live show, Drink Included by Vicky Grut, and Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine are debuts. Lucy Wood appears on the list for a second time, and men make a stronger showing than in most previous years, with the list divided evenly between male and female writers. Very exciting!

I'm going to have to buckle down and make myself a strict daily timetable, as I've also been asked for a new short story and have promised to deliver it for the same deadline, and there's a lot of activity connected with my own current and forthcoming publications. I've done no writing in the past few weeks due to this last. Twice this summer I went away to Wales intending to write, and both times editing and publicity work took over. First there was editing for my story 'Kiss' in Best British Short Stories 2019 (now published) (not much, but once you start thinking about a particular story it pushes everything else from your mind, I find). This was followed by the pretty intense editing process that the Mechanics' Institute Review always make a point of providing (my story is 'Dreaming Possibilty' and the anthology, on the theme of climate change, will be published in late September). Meanwhile there's been a good bit of pre-publicity work for my forthcoming novel from Salt. The novel, Astral Travel, will be published in February, and we are at the stage of deciding on images for the cover - exciting, but a terrible responsibilty!

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