Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Edge Hill Prize continued...

I'm currently torn between modestly ignoring the Edge Hill MA Prize or irritating people by going on about it, but as this is the only time in my life that I have won anything and bearing in mind the fact that it may never happen again, I've decided to go for option 2!

Things that have happened/appeared in the press as a result of the prize:

Here is an article that talks about the Edge Hill Prize and its winner, Jeremy Dyson.

At the prize ceremony I met Derek Neale a fiction writer who helped design and write course materials for the Open University writing courses. I was thrilled to meet the man whose writing exercises scaffolded my early attempts at fiction. Derek encouraged me to continue to work towards becoming an Open University tutor, something I've wanted to do ever since I began my first OU module, Start Writing Fiction (I'll stop here or this entry could easily morph into a blog entitled 'The Open University changed my life' which it did, in more ways than I have time to list right now). The Open University have subsequently interviewed me about my time studying with them and winning the Edge Hill MA prize and I will link to the interview at the OU community online when it is available.

This morning a friend pointed out to me that Mslexia guest editor Christina Patterson mentioned my story in her commentary about the selection process for Issue 46. 'Just in Case' (or 'Baby Skeleton' as it was called when I submitted it in January - I changed the title to allow for more surprise) was described as 'a macabre glimpse into the life of a woman who worked in a handbag shop' and 'one of a number that could easily have made it into the final six.' When 'Just in Case' and another story, 'Sinking' came back from Mslexia with a note saying they had both been shortlisted for publication but that neither had made the final cut, I wondered if "shortlisted" was a euphemism for "binned", but apparently not!

I did an interview for Radio Four's Front Row earlier this week which I will blog about at some point.

Above is the local newspaper's coverage. They essentially took the article straight from Edge Hill's PR department, but changed the headline to 'Mum Scoops Top Literary Award' demonstrating their incredible propensity for exaggeration. They also included an obligatory local paper mistake by getting the only text for which they were responsible wrong: Cerys Bray appears below the strangely shaped photograph!

Here Edge Hill's article about the MA prize. It's popped up in other places too such as here. It's odd to see myself described as 'Southport Mum', but I am a mum and I do live in Southport, so it's an accurate description, if not the one I would have necessarily chosen for myself in these circumstances.

To the right is another piece from a local paper which I assume must have been picked up from the Edge Hill website. They've ratcheted up the 'mum' descriptions by referring to me as 'mum-of-four'.

As a result of the prize, two agents have read 'Just in Case'. One has asked to read further stories, while the other has expressed an interest should I write a novel in the future. It's been a very exciting 12 days.


  1. Yay for you Carys if they make any of your books into movies my kids want to be actors :)
    Well donexx

  2. I'm late to say so - but still - congrats!! Really exciting to be recognised and get the contact with literary agents! :)