Here’s a picture where it looks like I’m singing – in fact I’m thanking everyone on the judging panel, my family and friends, and Queen’s Ferry Press (and Erin McKnight in particular). What an amazing evening – with Michel Faber justly winning both Fiction Book of the Year and Book of the Year overall, with a deeply moving speech about grief and welcome. Here’s a good article on the win, with a bit about mine and Ryan Van Winkle’s win for Poetry Book of the Year as well.
Here’s a rather blurry photo taken on the night.
If you’d like to read On the Edges of Vision, it’s available here on the publisher’s website, and there are copies in various bookshops around Scotland. I’m hoping it will be more widely available soon!
I met so many fantastic people last night, from shortlistees, publishing folk, the panel and the winners (particularly chuffed at a hug from Faber himself, and his rallying cry on short stories!). Today I’m off to buy up some newspapers with the coverage, and to recover a little from all this excitement!
Just three days until the Saltire Book Awards – ah!
Here’s an interview with me and Martin Cathcart Froden, conducted by Alan Bett.
This is what he says about my book (!)
Helen McClory has been shortlisted for the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year award for her outstanding collection of short fiction, On The Edges Of Vision. Strange, brave and experimental, they reveal the monster within us all. As telling from the gaps they leave on the page as much as the words carefully sculpted upon it, these are tales told in the half-light.
So grateful for this. And nervous for Thursday. More then.
Not in any particular way spooky (happy Hallowe’en by the way) but next Saturday, if you are in Berlin and attending the Indie Book Fair, you’ll have a chance to go into some fluffily-outfitted booths and listen to writers read their work down the phone. I’m taking part (remotely) and will be reading some flash fiction and poetry. Ahead of this, IndieBerlin kindly interviewed me!
Have a look here!
…for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award!
I know I should try to play it a wee bit cool, but I really don’t think that’s possible. I am beyond thrilled. Here’s the announcement on the Society for Young Publishers website (they will also be holding a ‘shadow judging panel’) and on The Bookseller. The winners for all the different categories will be announced at a ceremony on the 26th of November. Not too long to wait – though I don’t know how much of a chance I have. I’m so so happy to have On the Edges of Vision on the shortlist.
What to do with myself?
Well, tonight is the start of the 48 hour film contest, so I’ll be with friends working on that for the next few days, and crashing out the day after. This is good. I don’t know how I slept last night, to be honest.
Cheers to everyone shortlisted for their first book – and I hope this will inspire some of you to read their work. For the big names on the Fiction book of the year too (I’d been thinking about reading Michel Faber’s latest, and hope the library will have it when I finish my current lot).
For now, tea and something sweet. I’ve been woozy for hours. My goodness!
It’s Autumn now. Time to be reading, watching the weather as it closes in, or going out into the crisp or misty air and spotting various dogs nosing the fallen leaves. Or perhaps you are studying for something. Either way, I thought it might be a good time to share some seasonally appropriate(ish) playlists – none are mine, and most are on 8tracks, which I find a pretty good platform for these lists, though sometimes the seamless move into the next playlist is hampered by some clashing musical choices between the two. Some of these are long enough to keep you company well into the night. Others are more fleeting. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Neo Sixties (for that upbeat walk in sunny parks)
5+ Hours of Songs to Curl up and Read With
1200 years of women composers (for when you just really want to listen to a LOT of beautiful medieval chant)(Spotify)
A Shape to Fill a Lack (keening and gritty at the same time)
All Hallow’s Eve (of course you need some more murder ballads in your life)
Running Through Woodland (not necessarily running for enjoyment, more running from your problems, though both are exercise)
Midwinter’s Eerie Light (Brr! That smell of snow on the air, the walk to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the sense of a quiet magic)
Congratulations to the three winners! I’ll try to send your books off today.
To everyone who entered: THANK YOU SO MUCH! All 833 of you (!!)
I’m so touched you wanted to read my book. Many of you have added the book to your to-read pile. I really hope that you might like to buy a copy to get a chance to read it. Physical or digital copies are available here – digital copies are just $4.99 which I think is about £3.40, or the price of a big cup of coffee or hot chocolate with all the trimmings. Probably a good pairing.
The first two printed reviews came out this week – on SkyLightRain and on Monkeybicycle. I’m incredibly chuffed that the book has received such keen-eyed attention – and praise. Check them out!
Visual Verse is a journal with a wonderful premise – every edition, they post a picture as a writing prompt, always something rich with possibility. They publish every story that comes in, and share links on social media with a snippet of insight. I highly recommend going to check them out and perhaps write your own response – it’s a great way of overcoming a block.
This is the first time I’ve written anything for them, and I’m pretty happy with the piece. It really does focus the attention, to write in the submission box, to know it will go up. You can find the story here. See links at the top on how to submit and where to read other pieces on the site.
The Goodreads giveaway for On the Edges of Vision is going strong – currently standing at 320 entries and open until Wednesday. And it is touching to see people adding my book to their want-to-read list – I hope that some of those will go seek the book out if they do not win. To have your words shared and read is to have them come to life. It’s wonderful to see that happening, and to be a part of it myself as a reader (I’m thinking ahead to a best reads of the year list, which I might do come late December).