After a massive rewrite of the manuscript, I entered my novel UP SHE RISES in the international Caledonia Novel Competition. It was first long-listed, then last month, reached the short list of six novels from over 350 entries. The final results were announced today.
I didn’t win, but I’m thrilled with this feedback from literary agent Victoria Hobbs who judged the competition:
“There was a huge amount of charm in this novel: it’s the light, funny, romantic story of a teacher who finds herself marooned in a closed and remote community. I thought the drawing of the local characters was absolutely beautifully done – warm and singular and with dialogue that crackles on the page and brings to life this strange and unpredictable group of people! I particularly relished the glorious women who gathered with their hooks to make rugs and quilts…”
It’s given me a huge boost of confidence and I’m going to work my tail off to try to get this novel out into the world. Wish me luck.
And if you’re interested my first chapter (as well as those of all short-listed novels) can be read on the Caledonia Novel Award website.