Last month I was thrilled to hear that I’d won the Bare Fiction short story prize. For those who don’t know, Bare Fiction is a wonderful literary magazine that’s been going a few years. The pieces in it are very, very well-written and I’ve discovered many fantastic new authors by reading this. It’s also quite high-profile, attracting some very well-known names both as contributors and judges for the competition. This year the short story entries were judged by Courttia Newland, which gives you a sense of how thrilled I was to hear I’d won!

The prize-giving was held in Birmingham, so I promptly hopped on a train for what was to be my first real visit to the city. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I didn’t get loads of time to look around, but am hoping to head back for a mini-break soon.

Waterstones hosted the evening, which was super well-attended. We had people coming from great distances, most notably Ireland! (Ireland seems to produce some fantastic poets, incidentally). Here’s a few sample pictures from the night:

Me and Xanthi Barker
Me and Xanthi Barker, who read from her amazing 2nd prize story.

Robert Harper
Robert Harper, who is the brains and the energy behind Bare Fiction. Fantastic to meet at last!

Listening to poets
We’re listening to one of the poets here… look at all those spellbound faces.

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