Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Our prose competition long-list

Naomi Wood
Happy New Year to all our supporters. We open this year with news of our prose competition. Naomi Wood, author of The Godless Boys and the bestseller Mrs. Hemingway and our guest judge, met with us today to discuss the long-list and decide which out of all these scripts are our worthy national and regional winners and which our 20 highly-commended. It was a very interesting, frank and lively discussion but finally there was consensus! All entries were judged anonymously and so it was an exciting moment when we could uncover the names.
On Monday 9th January we will announce the winner of our new national prize of £1,000 and a month long writing retreat, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust, and the winner of our East of England prize of £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust.  We will also announce the names of the highly-commended who will be included in our anthology Words and Women: Four, published in partnership with Unthank Books. Meanwhile we thought we’d continue our tradition of publishing our long-list of 40 here on this blog. Congratulations to all of you who made it to this stage!
And very many thanks to all of you who entered. We had 350 entries in total from all over the UK and Ireland, from Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham, Bristol, Canterbury, Norwich, Cambridge and many other cities, towns and villages. There was a good strong mix of fiction and non, many interesting essays and strong memoir pieces. Themes explored were as varied, ranging from bear-hunting to dating, immigration to flying, from OCD to embroidery, from terrorism to bereavement, from plastic surgery to nightmare futures. The work which made its way onto our long-list successfully explores the unusual or the familiar in an unfamiliar way. We were drawn to tight, stylish sentences. We liked neat structures and experimental structures. Mostly we chose work which displays confidence and energy, commitment and a real understanding of form.

Our long-list:
Far From Home – Ann Abineri
Leaving The Home That Made me – Jamilah Ahmed
Sunday Tea – Kate Harmond Allan
The Wife – Deborah Arnander
Schokolade – Sarah Bower
Nan & Agatha – Alison Burnside
Pull of Distance – Margaret Callaghan
Pandora – Carole Craig
Future Perfect – Tricia Cresswell
Glory Be – Sara Crowley
A Roll of The Dice – Mona Dash
The Bear – Louise Dumayne
Dear Shadow – Kate Feld
Sorry Business – Lilie Ferrari
Suite for my Father – Melissa Fu
A Tree Full of Ghosts – Pia Ghosh-Roy
The Last Card – Guinevere Glasfurd
Red Sails – Tara Gould
Wedad – Sarah Gowen
Weightlessness  - Sarah Isaac
Thin Air – Ingrid Jendrzejewski
Babies – Sarah Mackey
Rag and Bone – Catherine Menon
A Punch Up At The Wedding – Anna Metcalfe
Thiruvega – Clare Morgan
There’s a Wee Bomb Upstairs – Helen Morris
The Boy in The Bivouac – Shiona Morton
Dungeness – Lucy Nabijou
The Time of Assassinations – Nasrin Parvaz
Memory Thief – Marianne Picton
Catsick – Sarah Poulton
The Talent Show – Ronne Randall
It’s Not Unusual – Elvire Roberts
Me & My Reptile on a Concrete Reef – Kate Robinson
Private Parts – Cherise Saywell
Beauregard’s Last Walk – Victoria Shropshire
Winter’s Map – Penny Simpson
Lives of The Saints – Ann Kennedy Smith
Some Adjustment Required – Mary White

Two Kinds of Something – Sarah Wickes

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