This is me...and this is it!
An amazing day yesterday, with the launch of the new Exeter Writers Anthology, 'The Coastal Zoo' (including two of my own stories), and the presentation of the very first Exeter Novel Prize. Set up by the Creative Writing Matters team, who are Cathie Hartigan, Margaret James and Sophie Duffy, shown here with the judge, Broo Doherty of DHH literary agency, and Ben Bradshaw MP.
I was delighted just to be on the shortlist, and when Broo Doherty talked about the six finalists, they all sounded like winners. I hope they all will be: congratulations to Anne Summerfield, Barbara Hudson, Sonya Weiss, Joan Brennan and Heather Reed. But the first trophy is staying in its home town...on my mantelpiece. And I shall do my very best to do it justice!
It was a great occasion for Exeter too, as Ben Bradshaw said: a new cultural landmark for a city that's survived the recession and is getting cooler by the minute. We were in the ancient church of St.Stephens on the High Street, beautifully restored (as you can see) by architect Allen Van Der Steen. Lots of people came, as well as Exeter Writers who sponsored the prize and helped to set everything up - and special mention to members of the Write-Group and my Book Club, who took over the gallery and were very noisy. Thank you all!