The single biggest reason why I entered the Mslexia novel writing competition was because Jenni Murray was one of the judges. I’m a fan. I’ve often said to the husband that my one abiding ambition is to be interviewed on Woman’s Hour. It hasn’t happened yet.
However, on Friday, yesterday, in fact, the incomparable Rosie Garland (sometimes Rosie Lugosi), winner of the Mslexia competition was interviewed by Jenni Murray on Woman’s Hour. I am, of course, a teensy bit jealous, but I’m also thrilled for her, and, no doubt, my time will come... eventually. Go listen to the interview here, and if you don’t have time for the entire show, Rosie’s bit begins at minute 14 for about 7 minutes.
So, what of the rest of us?
After the competition, the rest of us who were shortlisted for the prize were put in touch with one another. Nine of us have since got together, on the internet, at least, to collaborate on a writers’ blog called ‘The Full Nine Yarns’. It is early days, naturally, but it is already clear that our experiences are all different, and that we all have interesting things to say about where we have been with our writing and where we hope to go in the future. I’m sure some of you will find interesting things to read, over there.
I always hoped that at least some of the twelve books on the shortlist would find agents and be published, and this looks increasingly likely. What’s good for one of us should be good for all of us, so, I’ll be following the progress of the Full Nine Yarners carefully and with great interest, and I’ll be supporting Rosie Garland by following her progress, and, of course, by buying her novel when it’s available. So far, I’ve been rather charmed by all of the women that I’ve ‘met’ through the competition, so being part of this rather special group of writers doesn’t seem in the least arduous. I hope they’ll come to feel the same way about each other, and, of course, about me.