|Lunch at the ceremony - so good to hold this magnificent anthology in my hands.|
Heavens, it's such a huge thrill that my flash fiction story, Confirmation Class, came second in The Bridport Prize. Thank you so much to the flash fiction judge, the brilliant author Kit de Waal, for her kindness and her heartwarming words about my piece. It was wonderful to meet her, and also Peter Hobbs, the short story judge, at the ceremony. Everyone at the beautiful Bridport Arts Centre was so generous and welcoming.
After drinks and a gorgeous lunch, the prize-giving took place and we were able to read our stories or extracts to a very warm and appreciative audience. I enjoyed it so much, I wished I could go straight back on the stage and do it all again.
I was wearing a brand-new pair - and different prescription - of contact lenses that day - to try to improve my distance vision - and as a result, discovered I couldn't see well enough to read! So my husband dashed off to Boots and found me a pair of reading glasses to wear over the lenses. What a relief when the page transformed from a grey and white blur to recognisable words!
It was exciting to discover writer-friends at the ceremony. We had kept the news secret for a while, which meant there was no way of knowing in advance who would be there. So it was such a thrill to be there with C.G. Menon, highly commended in the short story category, Victoria Richards, also highly commended for her poetry, and Deepa Anappara, who won the First Novel Award!
It's fantastic now to be reading the incredible stories and poems in this anthology - hearty congratulations to all these talented writers. The Bridport Prize has been established for almost forty-five years now and attracts a huge number of entries from all around the world - the short story winner flew from Canada especially to be at the ceremony. It was massively exciting to be invited and a great honour for my story. Heartfelt thanks go to everyone involved, especially Prize Administrator, Kate Wilson, who orchestrates the arrangements so beautifully. Thank you all so much for this truly memorable day for me and my story.