- 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)'
Thursday, 10 May 2012
Recently shortlisted for The Scott Prize, I was not surprised not to win. That is not pessimism talking – but it is another stage that all writers should face: realism and some objective (as far as possible) view on their writing. I rushed to submit to The Scott Prize. I know that some of the stories were good – they have had some literary pats on the back for being just that. But did the collection hang together? Was there a coherent unifying theme? No. There were some weaker stories too – less dark, less ‘me.’ So a learning curve and also a great thing that I even have a collection that loosely hangs together and now can/should be hammered into some kind of shape. Writing has taken a back seat, while I have been working at Victim Support in London. Working as a journalist, seeking stories and realising that I have bad habits when it comes to my IT skills and the way I do things – opened my eyes. But it also made me realise that I will never be a 9 to 5 person, unless there is a job where specific time is given to dreaming. It’s hard for a non-writer to understand but freebasing of the mind is a must on a regular basis. Remember being told off for dreaming at school? It has always been considered a wasteful exercise but it is in fact deeply productive. No one should stop someone in full flow of reverie, although I appreciate how difficult it might be for a teacher of 30 to allow all their charges to stare out a crow while they need to know algebra. I have some horrible and life-changing things happen to me but a writer is shaped by what they experience, whether they are moulded by kind hands or kicked in the stomach. The shape we emerge informs us, changes us, pours into our words. I am still hurting and my writing is a little raw now, rather than angry. But it gives me facets, shades, levels of experiences that others might never experience. So I am peculiarly lucky – to know what it is to be broken and then get myself back together. The writing world is where I sit, I cannot get comfortable anywhere else. I love the people, that world of word magic. Mastery of words is something that no one ever really masters and so you are always reaching, stretching, laughing and crying in equal measure with each inch of progress and pint of failure. I would like to thank Jen from Salt Publishing for even looking and appreciating my words in my collection. Congrats to the very talented Carys and Rob. Such is the Snakes and Ladders of writing and all the more exciting for it!
- ▼ 2012 (3)
- ► 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