Tuesday, 4 October 2011


The 2011 winner, D W Wilson
Runner-up Jon McGregor
finalist Alison MacLeod
finalist K J Orr
finalist M J Hyland
And which event did I not include in the last post, held on Monday 26th in London, and to which I stumbled through a sudden downpour that had people making a dash for trains, doorways, in water that spilled over the pavement it came down that fast?

The BBC National Short Story Award Prize Giving Event. The short story world is very small -everyone seems to know or know of everyone else and I knew three of the shortlist. Alison MacLeod, Katherine Orr, and Jon McGregor. Jon and I share an editor, Alison is author of one of the chapters in Short Circuit, generous lady - and Katherine Orr I'd met at Small Wonder, properly. Stunning stories all.
A boozy bash, but I never knew short story writers and editors could be so NOISY! And BBC Radio 4s Front Row programme was going out live in the midst, so 'herding cats and asking a mob of crows to be quiet please,' seems to be a good analogy. Still, quiet we were. To hear speeches, including an odd confession from Gwynneth Williams, read from a paper tugged from her pocket, about how much she loves fiction and how vital it is...the applause was er- muted. Lions' den stuff, brave woman.

It was fairly nailbiting. Silence fell. We cheered to order as the programme was announced. And this year's prize went to Canadian writer D W Wilson. 'Front Row' continued with a recorded something or other, and we returned to the wine.
Great to see Clare Hey of Shortfire, Diana Reich, organiser of Small Wonder, reviewer David Hebblethwaite, writer Adam Marek - and of course the Bloomsbury team supporting Jon.
Congrats to all indeed.

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