Article for Hippo Reads and event at the Ilkley Literature Festival

Last night, Emma Claire Sweeney and I met up at the Southbank Centre for the pre-award celebration for this year’s SI Leeds Literary Prize. As a former runner-up, I really wanted to go along to support the 2014 shortlistees – not least because of the help Emma Claire and I have received from three of them.

Season Butler, Reshma Ruia and Kit de Waal were all kind enough to answer some interview questions about their friendships, as was prize advocate Irenosen Okojie. We’ll be featuring a new creative piece inspired by their answers during our talk at the Ilkley Literature Festival next week. This is a free event and we’d love to see you there.

 

SOMETHING RHYMED

~ the literary friendships of famous female authors

Ilkley Playhouse Wildman

Wednesday 15th October

9.15-10.15 pm

 

 

For a taster of the sort of thing we’ll be discussing, you can also read our article for Hippo Reads, which went live on their website yesterday.

Update on Something Rhymed

emily - 154 H cropped
Copyright: GREGphoto

Emma Claire and I have had a busy summer with our website Something Rhymed.

Following our article for the Independent on Sunday, we wrote another related piece about female writing friendships for Writers & Artists.

We’ve also been working on plans for some related events and projects, including an appearance on 15 October at the Ilkley Literature Festival.

I’ll be posting some more information about this event over the next few weeks, but you can go to this page to find out what we will be doing that evening.

As I mentioned in a recent post on Something Rhymed, Emma Claire and I are very keen to celebrate positive representations of women’s friendship on-line. With this in mind, we’ve just launched our #SomethingRhymed hashtag on Twitter with this tweet:

Women’s relationships are too often seen as bitchy & backstabbing. Tell us about a time when a female friend supported you. #SomethingRhymed

We’ll be sharing our own stories (in 140 characters or less), and, whether you’re a writer or not, we’d love to hear about your positive experiences of female friendship too. If you’re not on Twitter, but would still like to add your voice to the conversation, you can leave a message in the Comments section at the end of all of our Something Rhymed posts.

Do remember too that you can keep up-to-date with the blog by typing your email address into the box beneath the banner on the right hand side of the screen, and then clicking on the ‘Follow’ button beneath. On mobile devices, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the box and ‘Follow’ button.

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.