I’m delighted to have made the shortlist for the Büro BDP Writing Prize 2020.
The prize is run by Broken Dimanche, an independent English-language publisher based in Berlin.
I’m not sure when the prize will be announced, and considering the Covid-19 situation both in Ireland and Germany, I suspect any plans the publisher may have had when they invited submissions will have changed radically in the intervening months.
Still, it’s great to be nominated for such a prize.
I first came across Juxta Press when I purchased a copy of ‘Fish Out Of Water’ by Claire-Louise Bennett, and apart from the quality of the writing I really enjoyed the quality of the physical book they produced. While it is a short work, as an object the book shows just how much work and care they put into everything they do.
Browsing their website I noted they were accepting submissions for their Positions collection, short fiction presented online with accompanying artworks.
I was really happy to see them accept, and publish, my own short story ‘Come You Masters’, which you can read here;
We’re in a strange space at the moment, aren’t we?
I don’t know about you but I’ve really struggled to get any work done. I’m technically working from home, but as I miss that sense of separating my working day from my writing space at home it’s become harder to get anything done, or certainly anything I’m happy with.
A new show has recently started on RTE Radio 1 Extra, called Keywords with each week’s show based around a particular keyword (clue’s in the name I suppose…)
I’m thrilled that a piece I wrote has been selected for broadcast on this Sunday’s show, to go out live at 8pm this Sunday.
I’ll include a link to the show itself closer to the time and one to catch up on it later should you have anything more pressing to do on a Sunday evening in the middle of a global pandemic-induced shutdown…..
Writing competitions are always difficult, not just whether your piece wins or not, or at least makes a long or short list, but if your work doesn’t make the latter stages you never know whether the judges liked it and it just didn’t make the last list, or they thought it was complete garbage and your submission has long since been lining the cat’s litter tray.
However, I was absolutely delighted to learn I’ve won The Aleph Writing Prize 2019. The prize will be the publishing of my story Triptych in a limited edition pamphlet.
It’s the first time a work of mine has been published independently, and I’m really looking forward to getting it into my hands.
I’ve recently returned from a week in a writing retreat, the Circle of Missé in France. Having a full time job means I only get to write in the evenings, or on days off, but spending a week in Missé meant I got to live as a fulltime writer, if only for a short time.
The owners, Wayne and Aaron take wonderful care of their guests, arranging fantastic meals and ensuring we’re all well fed and watered and have as relaxing an atmosphere imaginable to concentrate on our work, it’s a truly magical place.
It’s wonderful to spend time with other writers too; on my time there we had myself, two from the UK (one bringing along her husband who assisted enthusiastically in the kitchen), one from Canada and one from Luxembourg. Each of us working on different projects at different stages of development, but it was great to all share ideas and hear each other read at the end of the week.
Far from isolating ourselves in our rooms, slaving over our keyboards, we would spend each evening together chatting over the delicious dinners, we had a book club night on the first Monday (none of us liked the book, which was a relief), and a movie night. I’d only ever seen Some Like It Hot in pieces before, never all the way through in one go, so another reason to celebrate my week in Missé. We also visited a local château, the Château d’Oirion, which was donated to the state and is now an art gallery (and without realising it at the time my visit there has given me the kernel of an idea for a novel, so something to keep working on).
Needless to say I shall return. Before going my friend, the writer June Caldwell had told me that when I went there once I would never want to go to any other retreat, and I know what she means. At this point I’m just waiting to book a week there again next year.