Now that my issue of Good Housekeeping is no longer in the shops, I thought I would share it with you, in case you missed out on getting a copy. My Christmas issue of GH arrived this morning, so it seemed like a great reminder.
I currently have a week off while I wait for my next editorial repost, so I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on everything I’ve put off during my last round of edits. There’s a lot to do AND still rest and pace my energies. I wouldn’t change things for the world though.
Want to know what happens next? Pre-order it today... the name has changed, it’s now called The Choice, but it’s the same story!
I spoke to Jo Finney, Assistant Features Editor/Books Editor for Good Housekeeping, who told me I’d won the competition. I remember very little about what we talked about, it went by in a blur of amazement and joy; all I know is my mum overheard the conversation and said I kept saying thank you, a lot.
I’m still stunned by it all, I’m also a tiny bit convinced I’m dreaming this.
I’ve been writing for seven years, working on my debut on and off, entering competitions, submitting to agents, making it to longlists, going on a writing workshop with Penguin Random House, reaching the final four of the Hodderscape open submission. I’ve worked hard, really hard, but never made it to the next step.With every rejection, with every piece of feedback I received, I took what I learnt and put it into my manuscript, writing and rewriting it.
I refused to give up because I knew this was what I wanted, this is what I love and think I’m good at, it's what I want to do with my life. Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my journey with you, the ups and downs, the joys and the frustrations, because there has been a lot of both.
It’s also a journey that’s only just beginning, so stick with me and I’ll share with you everything that’s to come.
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I won the Good Housekeeping novel competition! It feels so good to finally be able to say that. It’s the biggest and best news I’ve ever received and I haven’t been able to talk about it for months.
I entered the competition on a whim, I didn’t expect anything to come from it, but I wanted to keep putting my novel out into the world, in the hope that something would happen, that my novel, The Box, would find its home.
Now it has!
The prize for winning the competition is representation by Amanda Preston from LBA Books and a publishing contract with Orion. I’m beyond excited and incredibly happy.
There will be lots of news to follow, including how I got to this point - it’s taken seven years, so there’s lots to say!
I can’t wait to keep you in the loop with everything that’s happening.
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I decided to write about craftivisim and the WI. It's a realtively modern term but women have been using crafting to protest for generations. Just think of the suffragette banners.
Craftivism is a form of activism, typically incorporating elements of anti-capitalism, environmentalism, solidarity, or third-wave feminism, that is centered on practices of craft - or what can traditionally be referred to as "domestic arts".
I learnt a lot about the ways women in the WI are using their crafting skills to raise awareness of some incredibly important issues. In fact, I've been involved with quite a few but never realised they would be considered craftivisim.
I've crocheted green hearts for Show the Love and inscribed messages on white ribbons to support victims of domestic abuse. Recently, I helped celebrate 100 years of some women getting the vote in the UK, by encouraging my WI to include suffragette colours and figures into our craft show entry. I made the sash for the figure in the picture above (and two other Playmobil figures).
I really enjoy crafting and if I can make something beautiful and make a statement about causes I'm passionate about, then I can't think of anything better.
My article was picked up by the national WI blog and you can read it here...
I've been rather quiet on here over the past nine months, I haven't had anything to really say and my words, thoughts and imagination have been turned towards my fiction. I thought it was time to pop back on with an update of everything so far.
I've heard people say that writing is like carving, slowly you cut away the layers and polish the piece until you see the final form, the way it's meant to be. I imagine I've still got a way to go but I love my story more and more every time I work on it. I can't wait until everybody actually gets to read it.
I've also been working on my next novel, it's a loosely related sequel that also combines women's fiction with dystopia, drawing on current events and inspirations. I'd almost finished my first draft when a conversation with a writer friend clarified some missing threads, so I've gone back to the start, working in the new ideas.
Things are definitely moving forward with my writing and I hope to have lots more blog post in the near future. Watch this space...
I was incredibly excited to attend (and equally nervous) but I focused on what an amazing opportunity it was. Mum accompanied me as my PA and wheelchair pusher and as we entered the vast, echoing marble corridors I felt humbled and full of awe. For the past six years I’ve worked on my writing and here I was, not just with a toe in the door (or should that be wheel), but the whole of me and part of my story was inside the building.
I won the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition. My novel, The Box, is going to be published on 25th July 2019, by Orion