One of my colleagues on The Fiction Workhouse has been shortlisted for The Kelpies Prize, for his children's book. Vanessa Gebbie talks about it in more detail on her website. I was so excited for this rather wonderful and generous writer - as well as very sure that he will win. The winner will be announced at The Edinburgh Book Festival on August 25th.
This made me think about envy - especially as a friend of mine recently asked: 'Don't you get jealous of other writers who do well?'
The answer is 'no' and I am not a liar. I am also not a saint. But publishing is a competitive business and every writer has to be at the top of their game. Mediocre does not win prizes. Most of all though, to see writers I know do well is encouraging and exciting - because they up the game for us all. If they can do it, we can do it too. Too many writers complain about rejection without analysing the whys, lots of us moan about other competitions when we don't even bother to enter. Simple logic: you cannot win a lottery if you do not buy a ticket.
Writing has never been so popular, for many reasons - some of them the wrong ones. There will always be better writers, just as some people will always be younger, more beautiful, richer. To get all twisted about it, just makes a person bitter. I improve every day and I want to do so.
I am not a saint, as I said. But I do have a generous spirit that really loves it when hard work and talent receives its just awards. The only time I get angry is when sloppy writing gets rewarded.
So good luck, D. I'm chuffed that I know this man.
- Julia Bohanna
- Shortlisted Bath Short Story Award 2013 Runner-up Cinnamon Press Competition 2013 WNNER: Don Louth Writer of the Year (run by Reading Writers) WINNER: Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel Writing Competition 2012. SHORTLISTED: Scott Prize (Salt Publishing) 2012 for a short story collection. Writer/ Journalist - assistant editor and writer for the art and books pages of Wolfprint. Most recently published in Independent on Sunday and short story anthologies: Sentinel Champions No 9, 100 Stories for Queensland, 50 Stories for Pakistan, 100 Stories for Haiti and From Hell to Eternity. In a recent writing competition, Joanne Harris described my writing as '...compelling (but quite creepy)'
- ► 2009 (13)
Prizes and Writing Awards
- Winner Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel Writing Competition 2012
- Shortlisted for Salt Publishing's Scott Prize for short story collections 2012
- Finalist in Brit Writers' Award 2011
- 2nd in Sentinel Literary Competition 2011
- Whitechapel Society Anthology to be published 2010
- Shortlisted for the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2009
- Shortlisted for The Asham Award 2009
- Joint winner of the Penguin/Decibel Prize 2008 - Asian Invisible. Published as The Map of Me
- Highly Commended in The National Galleries of Scotland Short Story Competition 2008
- Runner-up in Segora Short Story Prize 2008
- Joint Winner of The Lancet Short Story Competition 2007: The Resurrection Girl.
- Runner-up in Virgin Trains/The Guardian Short Story Competition 2007: A Small Revolution
- Winner of the Woman and Home Short Story Competition 2006: Ghosts of Jamaica.
- Shortlisted for The Asham Award 2005
- Runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Short Story Competition 2003
- Winner of The Sunday Telegraph Tourism for Tomorrow Travel Writing Competition 2002: Wolves of Rumania. Winner
- Winner and also Winner of Most Original Short Story in the Competition in Trowell and District Writers' Competition 2006