The Bridport Novel Competition published their longlist this past weekend – and I wasn’t on it! I must confess to being full of hope, not of winning, but of maybe scraping through as the bottom manuscript in the hopeful pile.

It was not to be. But congratulations to those talented people who succeeded. Their names will doubtless be on everyone’s lips in the next year or two. I don’t begrudge them their current happiness. (Well, not VERY much…)

What I’ve gained from the process is greatly increased productivity. With a deadline in view, I discovered I could (fairly easily) tap out something like fifteen hundred words on a good morning. Keep that up, and my book will be finished by the end of the summer. That’s a result in itself.

I guess you also need an intriguing title. Below are the longlisted novels (the author names haven’t yet been revealed) to whet your appetites:

44 Stones

Zazou and Rebecca

Lights out at the Electric

Mirror, Mirror

How to Save a Brain

I Wanna Be Your Dog


Far Beyond Those Woods

The Commune by the Park

The Unbelonging of Taksheel Chaturveydi


Half of You

The Letters of Junius

Out of the Forest

SUPERficial (sic)

The Sydney Harbour Suicides



Orphaned Leaves

If Hamlet was a Girl