Two trips into London in one week (see here for the other), is going out a lot for me! I wouldn’t have missed last nights Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize at the Jerwood Space in Southwark for the world. Many thanks to the enterprising Simon Savidge, (I’m calling him that as he loves projects) who was not only one of this year’s judges, but was able to invite a group of fellow bloggers. So I caught up with Kim and David, but finally got to meet Simon’s OH ‘The Beard’, Eric, Rob and Kate, Naomi and Nina. Rob & Kate, Naomi and David have all been guest columnists on the Fiction Uncovered blog too – it was great company.
But the evening was really about the books and their authors. The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize is five years old this year, and is the only prize to solely award British writers, celebrating great British fiction. There were 15 novels longlisted and the prize-money was spread between eight of them, each receiving £5k plus a handbound edition of their book thanks to the generosity of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, and the winners were:
- The Incarnations – Susan Barker (Transworld)
- The Redemption of Galen Pike – Carys Davies (Salt)
- The Offering – Grace McCleen (Sceptre)
- Significance – Jo Mazelis (Seren Books)
- Mother Island – Bethan Roberts (Chatto & Windus)
- A Man Lies Dreaming – Lavie Tidhar (Hodder & Stoughton)
- Animals – Emma Jane Unsworth (Canongate Books)
- Mobile Library – David Whitehouse (Picador)
A special mention from me must go to Bethan Roberts, who comes from Abingdon where I live and has many a fan in the local literary community. I reviewed Mother Island for Shiny New Books and interviewed her about it here. I was so delighted for her to be ‘Jerwooded’.
It was also lovely to meet Emma Jane Unsworth and her wonderful mum! I’m so looking forward to reading Animals now.
What a fabulous evening – and a glorious sunset was just beginning to envelop the Shard as I left just after 8.30pm to go home.