Sunday, May 22, 2011

A quick word from Sydney Airport

There will be a third and final instalment that covers my finals days at the 2011 Sydney Writers Festival, but this will act as a stop-gap until I have the time...

You see last night I was awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book. I was, and still am, flabbergasted, but this didn't stop me celebrating with a few too many glasses of wine. I really didn't expect to be chosen over the wonderful Cynthia Jele (South Africa), Katrina Best (Canada) or Mischa Hiller (UK), but by some cosmic fluke I was, or I should say: my book was.

For a book of short stories to come out on top is a surprise but also a great vindication for an important literary form, especially in terms of New Zealand writing. I'm glad I could wave the Kiwi flag a little last night.

Like I said, I'll post in more detail about my final four sessions at SWF2011 and the extra-curricular activities we writers got up to (with photos!). But my flight back to Wellington is about to board and I have work tomorrow (Monday).

For now, here are some links:

A report on my emerging writers session in Auckland last Saturday.

According to the NZ Herald, I was the Best Dressed Writer at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival (ha!)

Sometime in the last week, I was deemed worthy of a Wikipedia page.

An audience member's take on our session in the Blue Mountains on Monday.

Dom Post article on my CWP Best First Book win.

And coolest of the cool: I get a mention in The Sacramento Bee.

And some things to look forward to in my final SWF2011 post:

  • Famous writers discuss the use of double and single quotation marks while stuck in traffic.
  • 'The Parramatta incident'
  • Birds, dancers cannot distract seasoned performers/newbie writers.
  • Meeting the Governor General and counting to seven.
  • Being urged by Tim 'Rosso' Ross to nick his book.
  • Bromantic confessions with Richard Glover, Brendan Cowell and Mark Dapin.
  • David Mitchell and Kim Scott's idea for a reality TV show. 
  • Who I forgot to thank in my acceptance speech.


French Sydneysider said...

Congratulations on winning the prize.. it must be a "sweet victory"! :)

Craig Cliff said...

Thanks Segolene (?), though I forgot to include you (and my fiancée) in my acceptance speech like I promised!!

French Sydneysider said...

Yes it is! Congrats again, your book is next on my TBR pile. It's great to read all the behind the scenes stuff.