Last night I and five other short-listed authors were sipping sparkling wine in the rooftop garden of Hachette UK. Also among us were the team from Writing Magazine, several of the authors published by the various imprints of Hachette, editors and literary consultants. Earlier in the day we’d each made a short video interview in the Darwin room (Origin of the Species was one of the first books published by the company). It was all exciting stuff!
The six of us had been shortlisted from 130 entrants in the 2016 Just Write Creative Writing Competition organised in association with Writing Magazine and John Murray Press. The competition asked for short stories of 4,000 to 8,000 words in any genre and on any theme.
In true award ceremony style, the name of the winner was taken from a ‘gold’ envelope and announced to the waiting crowd. Emma J Myatt was the worthy winner and we expect great things from her in the future! There followed lots of chatting to literary people and I got encouraging feedback for an idea I have in mind – something to work on for the future …
We all came away on a high, with goody bags full of books plus copies of the newly-printed anthology containing all six of our shortlisted stories. And we were kept busy signing the anthologies for lots of the other guests to take home – I felt like I was famous as people kept pushing books in front of me to sign!
Many thanks to everyone involved in organising the event and I’ll be watching for my fellow shortlistees – Louise Hare, Sumana Khan, Ian Laskey and Dan Purdue – to hit the big time!
#1 by Jenny Roman on August 20, 2016 - 7:42 am
Sounds amazing, Sally! Well done for making the short-list. Let’s hope this is the springboard to more great things in the future! xx
#2 by Sally Jenkins on August 20, 2016 - 10:22 am
Thanks, Jenny! And very best wishes with your writing, too.
#3 by Dan Purdue on August 20, 2016 - 8:28 am
Hi Sally, great post and lovely to meet you in real life! Wasn’t it a fantastic afternoon / evening?
I haven’t had a chance to read the stories yet but I’m really looking forward to seeing what everybody wrote – they all sounded so different.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on August 20, 2016 - 10:25 am
Absolutely fantastic, Dan. It’s now Saturday morning and I’m still hyped up! Great to meet you too. I’ve only had time to read Emma’s story so far and it’s very cleverly of our time but also includes fantasy elements. I think we’ll hear more of her!
#5 by isengerperkinsauthor on August 20, 2016 - 8:54 am
Congratulations! I wanted to enter, but had too much on. Do you know if they will be running this competition next year? I might be able to join you on the rooftop 🙂
#6 by Sally Jenkins on August 20, 2016 - 10:27 am
I don’t know for sure whether it will be run again, Ingrid. But have a look at Dan’s blog (link in the text of this post) – he mentions something about it running again next year. Good Luck if you have a go and let us know how you get on.
#7 by isengerperkinsauthor on August 20, 2016 - 10:48 am
I hope it does. So annoyed at myself for missing the deadline this year. Sounds like it was a fabulous awards evening too!
#8 by Tracy Fells on August 20, 2016 - 10:09 am
Congratulations, Sally! What a brilliant opportunity and experience too.
#9 by Sally Jenkins on August 20, 2016 - 10:28 am
#10 by Helen Yendall on August 20, 2016 - 5:26 pm
Well done, Sally. That sounds like a fabulous event! Am sure it’s inspired you and boosted your confidence – you were shortlisted out of 130, after all! Great stuff.
#11 by Sally Jenkins on August 20, 2016 - 6:52 pm
Thanks, Helen. Yes, it absolutely boosted my confidence!
#12 by dianneanoble1147 on August 21, 2016 - 9:28 am
Wow Sally! Good for you making the short list. Next time it will be the prize!
#13 by Sally Jenkins on August 21, 2016 - 4:48 pm
Fingers crossed, Dianne!
#14 by angeliqueminiatures on August 21, 2016 - 1:54 pm
Congratulations Sally. How exciting! 🙂
#15 by Sally Jenkins on August 21, 2016 - 4:49 pm
#16 by Susan A Eames on August 21, 2016 - 6:33 pm
Congratulations – what a lovely way to celebrate your short-listing – and with a commemorative anthology to boot! 🙂
Travel, Fiction and Photos
#17 by Sally Jenkins on August 22, 2016 - 6:28 pm
Thanks, Susan. The anthology is a lovely souvenir.
#18 by juliathorley on August 21, 2016 - 7:27 pm
May I add my congratulations? What a splendid achievement.
#19 by Sally Jenkins on August 22, 2016 - 6:29 pm
#20 by Linda Daunter on August 24, 2016 - 5:14 pm
Brilliant! Well done! I would say ‘onwards and upwards ‘ but I’ve seen photos of that rooftop elsewhere and it looks pretty high already…
#21 by Sally Jenkins on August 27, 2016 - 6:44 pm
Yes, it was high – giving great views! But we should all keep striving towards our next goal …
#22 by Anne Harvey on August 29, 2016 - 4:06 pm
Many congratulations, Sally, and very well deserved. Here’s hoping it leads to bigger and better things.
#23 by Sally Jenkins on August 29, 2016 - 6:51 pm