Plenty of stimulating aspects in my writing ‘career’ at the moment, not least that I am actually using the word career. In fact, I am feeling as if there is a path of sorts emerging that might lead somewhere, rather than just wandering in a forest, looking for the occasional gingerbread house on which to nibble.
The BBC want to workshop the writers from the Penguin anthology The Map of Me – perhaps to transform the book into a radio play or somesuch. This should be informative, interesting, hopefully productive.
I am still excited about a short film being made of a flash I wrote during a timed session at The Fiction Workhouse. An hour’s work from twenty prompts – sweat forming – now all scripted and ready to be cast. A lovely young film director has taken it on and is also shouldering the stressful job of finding finance for it.
I am due to go on a weekend writing retreat in August with some other much respected writers. Chuffed to fluffy pillows.
I entered the Bridport. Not with a shrug or defeatist forgetfulness but a real: ‘Stands a chance of something, doesn’t it?’ – entering a reworked story that was shortlisted for this year’s Asham Award. The confidence given by being shortlisted makes writers walk taller and trust their talents more. It’s not false pride; it’s proper pride in a job well done.
I went to a swanky party recently. I don’t generally do swanky, as I am more and more a country girl in green wellies, listening happily to a tiny wren’s enormous song in the garden. But I enjoyed, despite myself, dressing up and standing in a room with J K Rowling and Tim Burton. Talking to another very down to earth film director, David Yates (The Way we Live Now, State of Play) about his passion and respect for the talent swimming everywhere in the British Film Industry: set directors, designers, prop makers. Not schmoozing, just watching the madness, the vanity and the people who buzz around the famous, trying to ‘catch’ some of their success. Failing to see that they have to get up off their arses and work hard.
Last of all, I nursed a chicken back to life after a serious illness. A vet called it miraculous and I felt great that I could do something else other than write stories. Something practical and caring. Something that qualifies as miraculous. I have also further developed a lovely friendship with a feisty elderly lady of 86. We have political discussions and she rings me to tell me how much she values my friendship. She’s a tall woman, quite intimidating, very brusque. Takes no prisoners. Writes letters to complain and tells doctors’ receptionists that they are ‘frightfully inefficient.’ I think that she’s fabulous.
- 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)'
- ▼ July (2)
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