We are delighted to have received these reflections from our superb 9th Bursary Winner
In many ways I can't believe it's two weeks since the Award Night. Everything has changed for me. Publishing a book has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I've worked hard at it pretty much all of my adult life, so to have it come true for me so unexpectedly has been amazing. Occasionally daunting, but mostly amazing.
I was aware of several of the writers on the shortlist prior to the big night, and being aware of them, and their work, I thought I stood little chance. When the top three were being called I thought; wow, you've made it to the top three. Didn't even expect to be shortlisted, but somehow in the top three. When Glenn's name was read out in second I started to wonder if there hadn't been a mistake... No one has called my name and there's only one name left on the list. Complete shock.
I've been doing interviews and signing contracts and been patted on the back by all of my friends and family here and home and in all the conversations Luke's name and your name dominate. As a self-published writer, getting your name out into the world is one of the jobs you just have to do, and so you enter competitions and you submit your work here and there and you hope that someone will notice you. This was very different to that hum-drum process. As one of my best friends put it in conversation, this award has a soul, it has a history that you want to be connected to. It's Luke's history and your fight afterwards. To say that I'm honoured by it is an understatement.
And so I'm trying to prove myself worthy of the award, and the connection to both of your names. I'm working on more stories, and writing every day to make this the start of something important for me.
Lauren Parons, Editorial Director of Legend Press gave this comment on Dan's Book:
We all found Dan’s novel to be ultimately captivating. The plot is unlike anything we’ve ever read before with a wonderful sense of foreboding. Dan creates a truly memorable character in Denis, with a thought-provoking storyline. We are thrilled to add this title to our list and publishing this fantastic debut novel in June 2017.
Our talented finalists
Glen James Brown, Beyond Ironopolis
Patricia Holland, Lochwall
Kriss Nichol, Monsoons and Marigolds
Eva Sandoval, The Revision of Eleanor Reddy
Gráinne Murphy, Where The Edge Is
Heather Collins, Inside
Fiona O’Connor, The Group
Maria Stephenson, The Man Behind Closed Doors