“The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2013 is awarded the Canadian author Alice MUnro master of the contemporary short story.”
BBC National Short Story Award 2013 winner
Author Sarah Hall has been named the winner of the BBC National Short Story Award 2013 for her story Mrs Fox.
She picked up the £15,000 prize at a ceremony at BBC Broadcasting House in London, from this year’s judges’ chairwoman, Mariella Frostrup.
Mrs Fox tells the story of a woman who turns into a fox to her husband’s confusion and dismay.
Information Book Award 2013
It was a pleasure to be at the Bath Children’s Books Festival on Monday evening for the announcement of the winners of the Information Book Award, and in particular to hear the judges speak about each and every one of the ten shortlisted titles (scan down for the full shortlist).
Chris Brown, introducing the award, explained how important it is to recognise and encourage this area of children’s book publishing.
Marlene Johnson, Managing Director of Hachette Children’s Books, congratulated the authors and illustrators, saying, ‘We are very proud to be sponsoring the SLA Information Book Award, and to support school libraries and students. The SLA Award is a great way to highlight the variety and excellence of the books and information out there, and, through the feedback of students and librarians, to celebrate the very best exponents of the art of creating great non-fiction.’
In addition to Chris Brown, the judges included Jayne Gould, Lesley Martin, Sally Dring and Lucy Forrester.
Both overall winners came from the oldest of the three age categories. The ‘children’s choice’ winner, 100 Ways For Every Girl To Look & Feel Fantastic by beauty journalist Alice Hart-Davis and her young collaborator Beth Hindhaugh was praised for its commonsense approach and for its avoidance of a cliched fashion-model approach to the subject. Hart-Davis produced a similar title for Walker Books (Be Beautiful) in 2009 with Beth’s older sister. At the drinks reception afterwards, David Almond was keen to get a copy signed for his 15-year-old daughter.
The choice of the adult judges was the ‘Gastronaut’ Stefan Gates‘s Incredible Edibles, described on the SLA website as “a mad-scientist approach to food and nutrition, engagingly enthusiastic and delightfully batty. It works as both cookery book and popular science, a surprising but very effective combination.” As is indicated in the video clip (see above) an important aspect to the book is the bright design and colourful photography (by Stefan Gates’s wife). After the presentation Stefan performed a 5-minute mini-show which involved showering the audience in marshmallows and then telling us that the pink ones had bug blood in them.
Winners in each category were:
Under 7s – Just Ducks by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino, ISBN 9781406327397 Walker Books
7-12 – Incredible Edibles by Stefan Gates, illustrated by Georgia Glynn ISBN 9781406339062 Walker Books
12-16 – Discover More: Technology by Clive Gifford ISBN 9781407131566 Scholastic Children’s Books
Overall Winner – Incredible Edibles by Stefan Gates, illustrated by Georgia Glynn ISBN 9781406339062 Walker Books
Children’s Choice winners are:
Under 7s – Your Perfect Pet: Love Your Hamster by Judith Heneghan ISBN 9780750268943 Wayland
7-12 – Science Crazy by Steve Parker and Raman Prinja ISBN 9781848359338 QED Publishing
12-16 – 100 Ways for Every Girl to Look and Feel Fantastic by Alice Hart-Davis and Beth Hindhaugh ISBN 9781406337549 Walker Books
Overall Winner – 100 Ways for Every Girl to Look and Feel Fantastic by Alice Hart-Davis and Beth Hindhaugh ISBN 9781406337549 Walker Books
The complete shortlist for 2013 was:
- Just Ducks by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino, ISBN 9781406327397 Walker Books
- Make With Maisy by Lucy Cousins ISBN 9781406339659 Walker Books
- Your Perfect Pet: Love Your Hamster by Judith Heneghan ISBN 9780750268943 Wayland
- Discover More: Penguins by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris ISBN 9781407131528 Scholastic Children’s Books
- Don’t Flush: Lifting the Lid on the Science of Poo and Wee by Richard Platt & Mary Platt, illustrated by John Kelly ISBN 9780753433997 Kingfisher (Macmillan)
- Incredible Edibles by Stefan Gates, illustrated by Georgia Glynn ISBN 9781406339062 Walker Books
- Science Crazy by Steve Parker and Raman Prinja ISBN 9781848359338 QED Publishing
- 100 Ways for Every Girl to Look and Feel Fantastic by Alice Hart-Davis and Beth Hindhaugh ISBN 9781406337549 Walker Books
- Discover More: Technology by Clive Gifford ISBN 9781407131566 Scholastic Children’s Books
- The Story of the Second World War by Paul Dowswell, illustrated by Ian McNee ISBN 9781409523406 Usborne Publishing
The Information Award is sponsored by Hachette Children’s Books and Peters Bookselling Services. No money is taken from the SLA budget so all staff time, the cost of the judging, prizes for the winners and the final award ceremony are covered by the sponsors’ donations.
Some more photos from the event:
The first award that recognises long-standing creativity and achievement in writing short stories has been presented to William Trevor.
Trevor was unable to attend the presentation in person but said, “This is an award for what I do best, which is to write short stories. I also write novels but short stories are what I love and have always loved. I’m hugely honoured. It does mean a great deal to me. It has come from the right source. If I were to associate myself forever with the short story, this is the way I would like to do it.”
Diana Reich (seen above), the Award Administrator, who recently visited Trevor at his Devon home to record an interview that was played to the audience at the award event, says, “William Trevor is widely regarded as one of the greatest contemporary practitioners of the art of the short story in the English Language, a master exponent of the tragedy of manners. He has been a lodestar for generations of short story writers, both national and international, who have followed him. He was the unanimous choice as the first recipient of the new Award. “
Alison MacLeod, Professor of Contemporary Fiction, University of Chichester says: “It is a huge honour to be able to celebrate nearly fifty years of short fiction from a writer who describes himself as “a short-story writer who happens to write novels.” William Trevor is, without doubt, one of our most extraordinary writers. His vision of the lives of others is as sharp as it is compassionate; as sensitive as it is wry. How lucky we are.”
Dr Sarah Gilroy, Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Chichester says: “We are delighted to build upon our long-standing partnership with Charleston and Small Wonder Festival by creating this literary award celebrating the vibrant discipline of short story writing.”
William Trevor’s long time editor at Penguin, Tony Lacey, says: “In recent years, William Trevor has alternated publishing collections of short stories with full-length novels. As a novelist his subject is sometimes regarded as the fate of the Irish Protestants in the country during the War of Independence and the Civil War, and the Irish state that followed, and that is indeed a potent theme in some of his most famous books: The Story of Lucy Gault and The Silence in the Garden, for example. But these are not Big House novels, with the drama – or melodrama – that that phrase implies. They are understated and elegiac, concerned with character as much as plot. In this sense they reflect his short stories, a genre which Trevor has championed for many years: his Collected Stories, published in two volumes in 2009, amount to almost 2000 pages. There can be no living writer who has dedicated himself to the genre with such devotion over such a long writing life. The stories are set in Ireland and America, England and Italy, in cities and small towns, but wherever they are set they exhibit a particularly deep sympathy for the downcast, the downtrodden and the downhearted. One thinks of the younger son left behind to run the farm after his siblings have left for richer lives abroad; or the husband, whose wife is suffering from dementia, sitting in their favourite restaurant wondering why a couple are wasting their time bickering; or the old priest wrongly accused of abuse.
Many of these stories are so perfect that they challenge analysis or criticism. They seem to come perfectly formed. And, perhaps the true test of a great short story, it seems as though they could only exist in that form: they’re not fragments of a novel, buds that might burgeon into something else, but perfect works of art in their own right.”
Lacey conceded (listen to the audioclip) that in Trevor’s case he had not really been an editor at all. Trevor would deliver a perfect manuscript which he would be able to pass on straight to production.
The recipient of the Award was selected by a panel of experts in the short story genre:
- Patrick Cotter: Director of the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award
- Cathy Galvin: Founder of the Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Award
- Alison MacLeod: Professor of Contemporary Fiction, University of Chichester
- Ra Page: Publisher, Comma Press
- Diana Reich: Artistic Director Small Wonder Short Story Festival
- Di Speirs: Editor, Readings, BBCR4
I recommend this Guardian interview from 4 years ago.
The Collected Short Stories of William Trevor are available in a 2000-page, two-volume edition from Penguin.
Click the image above.
A long interview with Eleanor Catton, author of The Luninaries. Recommended:
Where she once was Ellie Catton, writer of enormous potential, she is now Eleanor Catton, Man Booker Prize shortlisted author. And on Tuesday, she turns just 28.
Catton is the third New Zealander to be shortlisted, after Keri Hulme, who won in 1985, and Lloyd Jones. If she wins, she will be the youngest to do so. Heady stuff. Fortunately, Jones has provided brilliant counsel. “He wrote me a couple of really lovely emails. He told me to go down to Ladbrokes and take a bet on myself, which I thought was really awesome advice.” The bookies have her as third-favourite.
The Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle 2014
Full details about these exciting new awards, with information for children’s centres, schools, bookshops or libraries about how to register an interest in taking part.
Big news from Booktrust – an announcement of new Children’s Books Awards in partenrship with Kindle. ACHUKA will be very keen to promote and publicise this new award.
The Best Book Awards seek to unearth the very best children’s books the UK has to offer, and honour authors and illustrators who continue Britain’s proud heritage of storytelling.
The awards are aimed at children aged aged pre-school to 14 and will have ten awards across five categories including; picture books, fiction, non-fiction, humour and digital. There will also be a lifetime achievement award for an influential children’s writer or illustrator.
Parents, schools, and libraries can register to get involved in the awards from today. The shortlist will be announced in March, from which point children will be invited to read the books, take part in activities, and vote for their favourites online. Due to time constraints on busy teachers and parents, the initiative will be straight forward and accessible.
The winners will be announced at The Best Books Bash, a star-studded awards ceremony in central London during Children’s Book Week 2014. Three hundred children from around the country will have the chance to win tickets to attend the party.
Melita Hume Prize Winner
Announced last week:
Marion McCready wins The Melita Hume Prize for Poetry
in 2013 for her collection Tree Language
Supporting young emerging writers during difficult economic times, the Melita Hume Prize for Poetry offers £1000 and publication with Eyewear Publishing for the best debut poetry collection.
Scottish Poet Marion McCready wins £1000 and publication by Eyewear in 2014.
Judge Jon Stone said “I chose Marion McCready’s Tree Language as the overall winner for two major reasons: firstly, the poetry is incredibly dark and rich and bloody (blood is a particular theme), with frequently brilliant lines and almost Celan-esque word pairings: ‘blood-cut son’, ‘snow-eyes dressing’, ‘death fruits’. Or how about a poem that opens, running on from its title:
Like a dead shrew
the baby lies comically still.
Secondly, as a collection, it’s superbly structured. Repetition within and between the poems is used to haunting effect; often, a motif or image returns in the manner of a memory resurfacing, or a recurring dream. The loosely held themes allow her to cover a range of territory, including war poems, over four distinct chapters, without seeming to stray from the direct path established in the opening pieces. This is assured, disconcertingly potent work with a sharp and distinctive flavour.”
Tree Language will be published by Eyewear Publishing in Spring 2014.
Melita Hume Prize for Poetry
The Melita Hume Prize for Poetry is an award of £1000 and a publishing deal with Eyewear Publishing for the best first full collection of a poet written in the English language, aged 35 or younger in the year of entering the competition. The aim of this prize is to support younger, emerging writers during difficult economic times. It is open to anyone of the requisite age, of any nationality, resident in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is free to enter.
John Kearns joins a stellar panel of judges for this year’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize, which includes as ever, children’s author Michael Rosen as Chair. Joining them on the panel are Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, children’s author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre and last year’s winner of the older age category, Dark Lord: The Teenage Years author Jamie Thompson.
Man Booker Prize Shortlist
- We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus) (Guardian review)
- The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta) (Observer review)
- Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador) (Guardian review)
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury) (Observer review)
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate) (Guardian review)
- The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Viking) (Guardian review)