A good week: third place in Yeovil Literary Prize and launch of the Tangled Roots project

Having had to keep it quiet until now, it’s good to be able to start letting people know that my novel A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing has taken third place in the Yeovil Literary Prize, judged by Tracy Chevalier.

I’ve long been an admirer of Chevalier’s prose and her writerly eye for detail, and so her kind comments about the book make the experience extra special. You can read her words about all the novel prize winners, and find out more about the prize, here.

Another pleasure this week was being able to attend the launch night of Tangled Roots, a project documenting the experiences of multi-racial families from Yorkshire. I’ve blogged about it before here. There are currently seven writers involved with the project, set up by Katy Massey, and photos of six of us will be displayed at Seven in Leeds until the middle of October.

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, you can view the images, taken by photographer Anthony Farrimond, on the Tangled Roots website. There’s lots more information about the project there too.

Just Back travel piece in the Telegraph

As some friends already know, my partner and I have recently returned from a motorcycle tour of Spain (with him doing the driving, me sitting on the back).

We saw all sorts of amazing sights: a school of jumping dolphins on the ferry crossing out and a whale on the return journey, a meteor shower on a cold mountain night, a magnificent sunset at mainland Europe’s southernmost point.

But one of the experiences I think we’ll look back on the most is a day we spent at a small motorcycle garage on the outskirts of Granada. I’ve written up what happened in this article, which won this week’s Just Back competition in the Daily Telegraph. This is my first piece of travel writing, so I’m really glad they chose it.

Early on in our travels, when the bike was still running perfectly...
Early on in our travels, when the bike was still running perfectly…

Showcase and Yeovil Literary Prize short-listing

It’s been a busy couple of months since I last posted any news on this blog. Two recent pleasures for me were being involved with the New Writing Showcase by Novel Studio students at City University London, and making the shortlist for the Yeovil Literary Prize, judged this year by Tracy Chevalier.

Whilst I’m used to reading my own work in public, I’d never compered a readings event before the Novel Studio showcase, but I was helped by the fact that the students’ work was of such a good standard. The audience of family, friends and industry professionals all seemed to really enjoy the evening.

As for the short-listing – in the novel category, with my first book A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing – I’m obviously thrilled. I look forward to finding out the final results when they are announced.

Short-listed for SI Leeds Literary Prize

An update on the SI Leeds Literary Prize: I found out yesterday that my novel A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing has now made the short-list of six! I’m really looking forward to the award ceremony on 3 October at the Ilkley Literature Festival, and to meeting the other finalists, organisers and judges.

If you want to know more, further information can be found in the blog post below and also on the prize website.

Many thanks to everyone who has been in touch – your support is very much appreciated.

Long-listed for SI Leeds Literary Prize

Although I had an idea that an announcement would be coming up, the phone call from Soroptimist International took me completely by surprise. I was delighted to learn that my novel A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing had made it into the final twelve manuscripts for the 2012 SI Leeds Prize.

The prize is a new award for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women resident in the UK, and an initiative of Soroptimist International of Leeds working in partnership with Ilkley Literature Festival and Peepal Tree Press.

I’m so pleased to have been selected along with the other eleven writers, and I look forward to seeing who goes through to the shortlist.

A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing, set in the Japanese city of Ōsaka, draws on my experience of living and working in that country, as well as my own mixed heritage. The stories my late mother used to tell me have been a particular inspiration. If you are interested, you can find out more about my novel by visiting the Writing page of this website.