Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Cheshire Literature Prize

It took my Christmas-fuddled brain a while to work out the meaning of the lovely letter from the Judging Panel Chair at the Cheshire Literature Prize but my entry was one of the top 25 shortlisted from over 260 entries and, as such, will be published in the Prize Anthology. The winners was Tessa Sheridan - congratulations, Tessa! - whose story lends its name to the anthology title, Zoo. I'm chuffed to have made the shortlist for this prize for those with a connection to Cheshire. I was born and raised there, before leaving to do my degree down South. But I'm a Northerner by nature, and I love to write in a Northern voice when the story suits, a silly example being this nifty flash. My paternal grandmother was a Lancashire lass, whose father owned a meat and potato pie shop in Bolton, the earnings from which paid for a whole street of houses, named Meat and Potato Row. That's Northern royalty for you. In fact my grandmother (golly, would Alan Bennett have loved to spend just ten minutes listening to her talk about her neighbours) was the basis for the main character in the shortlisted story. A tribute I like to think she'd have enjoyed. God bless you, Nan-Nan.

12 comments:

Vanessa Gebbie said...

How lovely. Many congrats, Sarah (and Nan-Nan...) vx

Jenzarina said...

Oh how wonderful! Well done!

Your family annecdotes could make for a very entertaining epic, maybe called 'Meat and Potato Row'. I'd read that!

Nik Perring said...

Congrats Sarah! And a happy new year!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Vanessa! There's something special about having a story recognised by my "home town".

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Jen! I think a childhood spent listening to the stories told by both my grandmothers played a big part in my desire to be a writer. My maternal grandmother told us about the prison camp, managing to make it seem like a big adventure when we were too young to take in the horror of what she left out from the stories. My paternal grandmother didn't tell stories, as such, but she would use phrases and rhythms that worked into my imagination. "Three sheets to the wind" was one of hers that's stayed with me.

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Nik! It was lovely to be recognised by the Cheshire judges - felt very close to home.

Madeline said...

Congratulations, Sarah! What a way to start the new year!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Madeline, and Happy New Year!

kate said...

congratulations Sarah and also well done for your short story 'Water's edge.' I hope 2010 brings you even more success!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thank you, Kate, lovely to hear from you! I hope the novel is going well.

Gay Degani said...

There is absolutely no stopping you. I am so proud to know you and that I've been privileged to watch your fabulous year unfold. Pushcart noms, awards, shortlists, all of it is so cool. And you deserve it. 2010 will be a repeat, I just know it, except it just might even be better.

Sarah Hilary said...

Gay, you're the best friend a writer could have - thank you for the kind words and congratulations again on Pomegranate. I'll be thinking of you this January, and your specific goal for 2010 - you're going places!