Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Cheshire Prize for Literature

Actually, the High Sheriff's Cheshire Prize for Literature - my mother insisted on writing down the full title of the prize so that she could tell people that... I won it. On Tuesday 4 December, unexpectedly and delightfully.
 

I'd been shortlisted for the prize once before, and published in the anthology three years ago, but this was my first time at the ceremony, nibbling my fingernails in a packed auditorium along with the other 269 entrants, waiting for the announcement of the winners. My 11yr old daughter was with me, determined that I should win, which added to the suspense. She's been to so many readings and evenings with me, always cheering me on. This time she did a little dance of joy and hustled her way into the photos, after dodging the camera two days earlier at my brother's wedding. I was very happy to be able to finally reward her cheerleading with a win.

Loyd Grossman read my story, Udumbara in Lytham St Anne's, and handed over a cheque for £2,000, after which I was "millionaire mum" all evening. The lovely judges said wonderful things about my story, a little snippet of which (in first draft form) I had read at ShortStoryVille in 2011. I think Dr Emma Rees, the mastermind (mistressmind?) behind the prize was a little taken aback when I hugged her hard for making my year, but really, she has. It's been a tough slog, 2012. If ever I needed a shot in the arm, it was now. And what a lovely shot this was.

Thank you, Dr Rees and everyone at Chester University involved in the running of the Prize. The runner up was Adam Green from Manchester for his story The Gift. Simon Gotts from St Asaph’s story Taidi’s Big Party and The Adventures of Him and Her by University of Chester student Hannah Riordan from Gloucester were highly commended. Congratulations to all!



18 comments:

Tania Hershman said...

That's just totally brilliant, lovely picture too! It's wonderful when those much-needed boosts (and cheques) come just at the right time. Yay! Looking forward to raising a Bristol cupcake to your success sometime! Where can we read your winning story??

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Tania! It will be published as part of the Cheshire Prize Anthology, which goes to press in early Spring 2013. Plenty of time for cupcakes between then and now!

E Wein said...

This is really just so. wonderful. I can't tell you how pleased I am! nor can I imagine how excited the kid must have been. old enough to appreciate what it means. just fabulous!

Derek said...

Fantastic - well done! And just in time for Crimbo. Hope it sets a high bar for 2013 for you to exceed.

Rin said...

Yay, well done you! So glad your talent is being recognised like this Sarah, you totally deserve it. Looking forward to having a read of the story (great excuse to buy another anthology!) x

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Elizabeth! (And just after I announced it, a tiny glimmer of hope from another writing direction...! Too soon to say if it will come to anything but I'm going to indulge in a little hope over Christmas.)

Sarah Hilary said...

Thank you, Derek! Yes, it reminded me why I do this writing lark - definitely aiming high next year!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Rin, that's lovely of you. And yes! another anthology!

robin said...

Sounds like a dream night – but well-deserved. Congrats!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Robin. Yes, the sense of it being a dream hasn't quite worn off yet either...

Vanessa Gebbie said...

A belated huge congrats! And good for the lovely Millie for being there with you - she is a joy, that girl.
xx

Sarah Hilary said...

Thank you! Ditto on your brilliant Troubadour Prize. And, yes, Milly is a darling. Pic of her at Cheshire Prize is on FB. xx

Deb Rickard said...

I am SO sorry to come late the party! How come I don't get messages when you post new blogs? I'm sure I'm signed up to your blog but I caught this on the Pangea one yesterday. Anyhow, as I commented there, HUGE congratulations, Sarah. I can only begin to imagine the thrill you got but you deserve it, you really do! xx

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Deb! Yes it was a real thrill - Milly was delighted, too. Made a lovely pre-Christmas period. :)

Pete said...

Gigantic Cheshire Cat smile here and gigantic congratulations to match - all v best for 2013 - Pete C

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Pete, that's very kind of you.

Barbara Corfield said...

Congratulation on your success in this years Cheshire Prize for Literature Sarah. I was upset to have missed the award ceremony due to family illness. I have been fortunate enough to also be included in the 2013 Anthology which includes our competition entries so look forward to meeting you at its launch later this year.

Sarah Hilary said...

Thank you, Barbara, and I'm sorry you missed the ceremony. I hadn't realised there would be get-together to launch the anthology - how lovely! I look forward to meeting you then.