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.