Interesting shortlisting

Posted: May 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, prizes, The Game is Altered | Tags: , , | No Comments »

It was very nice to receive a Facebook notification the other day to inform me that The Game is Altered has been shortlisted for an award. It’s not the Orange Prize (I will never be that rare thing – an Orange shortlisted author – now that Orange has withdrawn its sponsorship from the prize);).

No, I have been shortlisted for the Pineapple Prize. I’d never heard of it either but I am suitably delighted. It’s an interesting list too.

You can read all about the the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network here.


Aye Write!

Posted: March 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events, prizes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »
Mitchell Library Glasgow

Mitchell Library Glasgow

I’m off to Scotland tomorrow to Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival. I will be reading in The Burns Room at the Mitchell Library – and this will be followed by the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize announcement at 6pm.

The event is free and from the website looks as if it’s open to all – but if you don’t fancy that then the most talented AL Kennedy is giving a talk at 7pm in the same building.

I’m nervous. The building looks rather large. I wonder, if you spend a lot of time in buildings that are grand and imposing do you begin to think of yourself as grand too? Maybe this is explains why people who live in cities often think they are more sophisticated than the rest of us – they can’t help themselves, it’s simply their environment. Whatever, I don’t spend much time in grand buildings. I prefer a small room, with a desk, and a stack of books, several pens, some paper and a computer – oh and I’d like a view one day – onto a garden or the sea. Yes, I am nervous. Wish me luck.


Among Thieves listed for Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

Posted: February 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: authors, prizes | Tags: | No Comments »

Among Thieves has been shortlisted for The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book Award in the South Asia and Europe region. The regional shortlists were announced yesterday and I was delighted to find that another Tindal Street author, Anthony Cartwright, has also been shortlisted in the Best Book category for his novel Heartland.

The Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, Mark Collins, said:

The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize is distinct and unique in that the books that win often have strong insight, spirit and voice about the incredible diversity, history and society of the Commonwealth. The Prize aims to reward the best of Commonwealth fiction written in English and in doing so, spots rising talent and creates new literary figures from the Commonwealth. This is the Prize to watch for tomorrow’s best-sellers.

I feel proud to be shortlisted – and proud of my publisher for championing the literature of diversity. You can read about all the other shortlisted titles in all regions here.


Authors’ Club Best First Novel Longlist

Posted: January 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: prizes | Tags: | No Comments »

Among Thieves has been longlisted for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award.

I am happy. Book – listed. Stock – raised. Grin – large.


Lit-X-Factor

Posted: December 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: prizes, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Well – despite my cynical post about the People’s Book Prize in November I am pleased to announce that Among Thieves has WON the October vote. This means my novel goes through to the ‘finals’ and I get to wear a frock at an event in London next year – I think.

The thing is it’s not entirely clear what happens once a novel has passed the monthly vote hurdle. Will novelists have to gee the troops again and beg everyone who’s ever met them to vote ‘one more time’? And here’s the problem with literary prizes that depend on a public vote. The very nature of independent publishing means that most of the books submitted for the prize don’t have a print-run of more than 2,000. So the readership is tiny and every novelist entered (if they care) will have to coerce their friends, family and colleagues to go online/register/vote/comment – yawn.

This means that people who have more of an online presence (and this includes me) have a better chance of winning. Democratic it is not.

On the other hand does a ‘struggling’ author pass up the chance to increase awareness of their novel? Of course not. I would love to leave all the ‘marketing and promotion’ bollocks to a PR person who actually enjoys generating column inches. For most authors, publicising their novel is simply something that distracts them from the thing they desperately want to be doing. Writing. But without a successful first outing who will publish the next one?

And so we must throw ourselves into the fray, try not to think about the whore-Factor and keep our eyes on the prize – which in reality is widening our audience.


YOU be the judge

Posted: October 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: events, prizes | Tags: , , | No Comments »
The People's Book Prize

The People's Book Prize

You be the judge – well kind of… my first novel, Among Thieves, has been put forward for The People’s Book Prize. The website says:

The People’s Book Prize is a national competition aimed at discovering talented authors showcased exclusively at your local library and on this website – with no panel of judges except YOU, the public!

Yeah – I get it, but the most likely scenario is that the author who can coerce, cajole and encourage their friends to vote for them will fare best in this type of competition (cynical, moi?). But these things have their place and I’m not above self-promotion – I have a blog for God’s sake, and a Facebook page and I use Twitter. So, should you feel like being part of my master plan then please vote for Among Thieves HERE.


Pen O. Henry

Posted: May 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: authors, prizes, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Graham Joyce

Graham Joyce

Graham Joyce – the very cool guy who first reviewed Among Thieves – and came to the book launch in Coventry, was awarded the Pen/O. Henry prize for short fiction earlier this month.

Featuring stories selected from thousands published in literary magazines, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 is studded with great writers such as Junot Diaz, Nadine Gordimer, Ha Jin, and Paul Theroux, as well as new voices. The winning stories feature locales as diverse as post-war Vietnam, a retirement community in Cape Town, South Africa, an Egyptian desert village, and a permanently darkened New York City; the dizzying range of characters include a Russian mail-order bride in Finland, a rebellious Dominican girl in New Jersey, and a hallucinating British Gulf War veteran. The stories are accompanied by essays from the eminent jurors on their favorites, observations from the twenty winners on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines.

Graham’s story – An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen – was first published in the Paris Review – and two of this year’s three judges (A. S. Byatt and Tim O’Brien) chose it as their favourite. A.S. Byatt said:

The thing I admire most about this tale is the pace, the rhythm, the economy of incident and the accuracy of the words. Each sentence adds something to the world being described. It looks simple and easy, and is in fact controlled and crafted.

Congratulations Graham:)