The Tongues of Men

A novel in redraft by Gabriel Smy

January roundup: prizes, free books and a writing group

Apart from the shocking news that the refitted Co-op round the corner started stocking cinnamon whirls again before withdrawing them a second time (the heartbreak!), I thought I’d start my first writing week of the year with a roundup of news to get the fingers working for another week of editing.

Remember Anjali Joseph and Christie Watson? Anjali’s Saraswati Park won the Desmond Elliot Prize, awarded to best first novel published in Britain. And Christie, not to be outdone, bagged the Costa First Novel Award for Tiny Sunbirds Far Away and is in the running for the overall Costa prize this month.

Not bad. I like that Christie is not giving up nursing. It’s difficult to run two jobs but there are rewards too. Both ways. And the combination means she can write intelligent things about nursing like this in the Guardian: NHS reforms must give nurses time to care.

Suffice to say you should read both those novels. And congratulations to another friend, Jon Cullen, on the publication of Sustainable Materials: With Both Eyes Open. I have said it elsewhere, as well as down the pub (the Old Spring, astoundingly the most middle class pub I have ever set foot in), but here’s another shout for some great ideas and all that hard work. The New Scientist seemed to like it.

What else? Still no one knows the future of publishing but I found these predictions interesting. They imply that publishing is affected considerably by technological development, down to specific devices. They also paint a more cheerful picture for authors, suggesting that ebook royalties and copyright terms will improve this year, and that self-publishing is going to work for more and more writers.

I’m trying something new by going to a writers' group. I met a playwright at the boys’ football who told me about it. (I love Cambridge. The week before I was chatting to one of the other dads about combi boilers). They meet to talk through two or three people’s writing each week. Sadly it’s during the day, but on my writing weeks I can give it a shot. It will make a nice change to sitting in a room on my own all week not knowing if what I’m writing is bollocks or not.

Finally, you should apply for World Book Night to give away 24 copies of one of these marvellous books. Now for some editing. Laters.


Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • Anonymous said...
    16 January 2012 at 11:34
    How do you think being a perfectionist effects the experience of editing a draft?
  • Gabriel said...
    16 January 2012 at 12:05
    How do you think posting anonymously affects the chances of receiving a sensible reply?

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