Monday, 7 June 2010

The Scenic Route

I am so pleased that one of my stories has been included on a shortlist for the Bristol Short Story Prize. All twenty stories in the shortlist will appear in the anthology. The first, second and third placings will be announced at an awards ceremony in July. I can't wait to see the book and read all the other stories.

The one I sent was quite unusual. I managed to think far outside the box when I wrote it. As Meg Rosoff said, it is helpful to place yourself on the edge of experience, allowing the outline of the story to become buckled. This warping of events can stop the reader in his tracks, turning a straightforward situation into an intriguing and unique set of circumstances.

The road I travelled during the making of this story had some odd diversions. They seemed like dead-ends at times, but then I twisted them back round and returned to the main track for a while. Then I went off at tangents again. I wasn't sure this scenic route would work, but I had an instinct that I should send the story. Fortunately, it was one of those times when instinct worked in my favour. A rare occurrence!


  1. Oh well done Joanna on your shortlisting! I had a lovely time when I went to Bristol last year.

    I think it's true that sometimes you have a strong gut instinct about the way a story needs to go, even if it's not the most obvious route.

    By the way I just read your story 'Tiger in the Guest Room' in the Yellow Room magazine. It was a very striking story, and vividly written.

  2. Joanne, thank you so much. Recently I looked again at last year's Bristol anthology and read With Thy Fire Divine for probably the third time as I enjoy it so much. It really stands out and I love the way it ends.

    I'm looking forward to going to Bristol. Perhaps I deserve something new to wear!

  3. Wonderful news, congratulations.


  4. That's brilliant Joanna, Well done you!
    Absolutely, treat yourself!

  5. Thank you penandpaints, so much for your kind words. I have ordered a new dress from Wrap and can't wait for it to arrive!