P D James – one of the greats. RIP
The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook have a short story competition with a £500 first prize, together with a place on an Arvon writing course of your choice. The winner will also be published on their website – good publicity for a debut novel.
They need 2,000 words on the subject of ‘Joy’ by Sunday 15 February 2015. Details at writers&artists.co.uk
According to a Diary piece in yesterday’s ‘Times’, Ian McEwan’s son was studying ‘Enduring Love’ for A Level. His father spent an hour explaining the book’s meaning to him. “Apparently, the teacher disagreed with my analysis on political grounds,” IM is quoted as saying. “The essay came back with a D.”
Fiction or fact – both are welcome in the writing competition run in 2014 by the British Czech and Slovak Association. A first prize of £300 and a second prize of £100 will be awarded to the best 1,500 to 2,000-word pieces of original writing in English on the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics (or their predecessor states), or describing society in transition in the Republics since 1989. Topics can include history, politics, the sciences, economics, the arts or literature.
The writer of this year’s winning entry will be presented with the prize at the BCSA’s glittering annual dinner in London in November 2014. The winning entry will be published in the December 2014 issue of the British Czech and Slovak Review and the runner-up in a subsequent issue.
Submissions are invited from individuals of any age, nationality or educational background. Entrants do not need to be members of the BCSA. Entry is free. Entries should be received by 30 June 2014. An author may submit any number of entries. Submission guidelines are available from the Prize Administrator or the BCSA website at http://www.bcsa.co.uk/specials.html.
Entries should be submitted by post to the BCSA Prize Administrator, 24 Ferndale, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 3NS, England, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nell Garwood knows she is to blame when thirteen-year-old Rachel falls ill with depression. Isn’t it always the mother’s fault?
Three men in Nell’s life think differently: Alastair, her charmingly indulgent husband; Martin, the public school chaplain whose faith is blighted by forbidden desires; and Lewis, the celebrated child psychiatrist with an unquiet conscience.
Then there is Juliet, Nell’s best friend, who has always been on her side. Or has she?
As epiphany and tragedy collide one hot July night, Nell has to face the truth about the people she most trusted – and herself.
All Desires Known, by Tanya van Hasselt, writing under her Dutch maiden name, is published in paperback and as an Ebook. It’s available from Amazon/online bookstores as well as Waterstones and other bookshops. Here’s the complete cover, flaps included.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 has been awarded to Alice Munro, “master of the contemporary short story”. Good to see the short story getting recognised. I’ve not read Alice Munro – any thoughts from people who have? Would this be a suitable hint to drop in family ears for Christmas?
I suppose an unmarried woman just over thirty, who lives alone and has no apparent ties, must expect to find herself involved or interested in other people’s business, and if she is also a clergyman’s daughter then one might really say that there is no hope for her.
This entirely wonderful sentence comes on the first page of Barbara Pym’s novel Excellent Women – and how could anyone resist it? Certainly not me, so to be invited by the Barbara Pym society to a lunch at St Hilda’s college in Oxford at the beginning of September was the perfect summer treat. Meeting a crowd of men and women who are fans of Barbara Pym has got to be an altogether delightful experience – and it was! The lunch was part of a centenary weekend – members had come from all over the world to enjoy a feast of Barbara Pym related activities and entertainment – and extra guests like myself were there to be given our prizes in the centenary short story competition. It’s difficult to express the sense of fun and enormous goodwill that pervaded the gathering – everyone so full of eager friendliness and happy congratulations. They’re going to publish the winning stories on the society’s website some time in the Autumn.
I’ve come away with a splendid book too, Barbara in the Bodleian – Revelations from the Pym Archives by Yvonne Cocking. It’s full of excerpts from Barbara’s notebooks. Nobody could ask for more.
Our ridiculously modest Tanya Aydon was quietly awarded joint first prize in the Barbara Pym Society’s short story competition, for her piece ‘Unexpected Flowers’, on Saturday 31st August.
This involved lunch at St. Hilda’s, Oxford, and all sorts of jollities that we will have to pry out of Tanya with a snail fork. She has such an elegant, generous, dazzling talent, we can only marvel at the care with which she arranges the bushel. We are terribly proud of her!
Photo borrowed from the Barbara Pym Society Facebook page: <https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153186939240032&set=p.10153186939240032&type=1&theater