On Thursday night, (21st March) I took part in the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards Showcase, bringing to a close my year as one of the recipients. Everyone I’ve spoken to who has been lucky enough to get one of these awards marks it as a watershed moment in their writing careers, and I certainly feel privileged that the SBT took the chance and picked me out for one. I’m reasonably sure that of the eight of us up on the stage at Summerhall, I was the most nervous (it was only the second time I’ve ever read my stuff out in public), but everyone was incredibly supportive and (as I wrote back in August when I read at the Edinburgh Book Festival), no one actually wants to see you fail. A couple of people asked me about the Inchkeith language experiment, which I mentioned in the story extract I read out; as far as anyone knows it really happened, although no one’s sure what the end result was. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry for further information. It’s one of those subjects that has taken up permanent residence in my head, and I can see it forming the basis for a short, experimental novel in the near future. Often short stories exist as first drafts for longer ideas, and this is one idea that I’ll return to again and again over the years, I’m sure. (In other words, consider this my copyright on the concept … )
I meant this blog to be, over this year, more of a blow-by-blow account of what being a NWA recipient would be like, but in the end (which is kind of the point) I’ve spent so much time actually writing that I haven’t really had much to report. Now that I’ve got a solid amount of work behind me though, hopefully over the next year I’ll start the process of actually getting something published. If or when that happens, I’ll be sure to blog more frequently about it.