Category Archives: Awards

Emerging

I am officially coming out as a writer, it seems, having been given a Highly Commended place in the 2022 Emerging Writer prize from Moniack Mhor and the Bridge Awards. Thanks very much to them! I am hoping to take part in one of their retreats at the writing centre sometime, care responsibilities permitting. And I look forward to reading the work of the other finalists and the winner Natalia Theodoridou.

Meanwhile, I’ve been enmeshed in edits after receiving the long and detailed notes from my agent Louise. It’s such an interesting process; after so long writing this book on my own, I feel like there’s someone in the pages with me now, a dialogue where we’re both so focused on this little world I created. I can see now why writers rely so much on their agents (and editors), because as well as the business side of things, it’s having someone champion and, hopefully, really understand your work. I love hearing someone respond to the characters, both when she agrees with me (little notes that say “Mrs Nye is so good at this!”) and when she differs (she’s been challenging me to make someone less likeable). It’s weirdly physical work, though, tiring. There aren’t any really big structural or plot changes to make at this stage, it’s more about tweaking small things as we go to make sure the characters are consistent or that each chapter has a real purpose. And I’m almost saying goodbye to them and to the book – I can see the end in sight.

Of course, after this it’ll go out on submission to publishers and if successful, there would be another round of edits. Which is fine, because The Ghost Marriage will never leave me – published or not, this story, these characters, are part of me now. They’ll haunt me forever.

But I really am ready to create a new world.

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New Writers Award Applications

Phew! I have managed to submit my application for the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards in time. Thousands (probably) apply for this, so it may be a long shot but I spent quite a while on it, revising the stories I sent them (one has caused me so much grief trying to wrestle it into shape that I no longer know if it’s any good or not. In fact, I kind of hate it) and trying to write something that conveyed exactly why I should be chosen. I hate applications of any kind: it’s so embarrassing trying to sell yourself. However, it’s clearly good practice for submitting manuscripts to publishers and, someday, to be pushing that work at readings, festivals and so on. Your work can’t speak for itself if nobody’s read it. Anyway, the process of applying did help me work out what I need now to develop my writing further and what I need to be focusing on, so even if I’m not successful, it’s been useful.
Did you apply this year? How do you feel about awards? If you are involved with the awards, do you take bribes? Only kidding obviously (but you can contact me through this site, if you need to, like, check anything …)

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