Friday, 7 August 2009
Bridport Prizewinner's day 2009
Had a lovely natter with the powers-that-be behind The Bridport Prize, finalising the arrangements for my involvement in the Bridport Festival this year. I am delighted to be running a short story workshop for them on Sunday 22nd November on Bridport Prizewinners' Day in the morning, and will probably focus on opening up creativity. Finding stories. Inspiration. Freeing up. Creating a 'story seed bank' - to nick Jacky Taylor's words. Thanks Jacky!
I am delighted to be attending the prizewinner's lunch. It will be a poignant thing for me; two years since 'Tommo' bobbed into the top three out of almost seven thousand entries, chosen by Tracy Chevalier for an award. I met her the night before the ceremony - attended her talk on the then new novel. She has yet another out now! And you know you have these formative moments in your writing journey? Well, having her sign my copy of Burning Bright was one. She wrote this before signing her name:
Congratulations Vanessa, Best wishes from a colleague.
I still get a wobble in my stomach when I remember that. That was such a generous and lovely thing to say and in a way, meant almost (almost!) as much as winning a prize. And yes, it has inspired me, helped to shape how I am with other writers. We're all on this journey together. Sometimes its nice to acknowledge that.
The day doesn't finish with the lunch. There will be a new and rather exciting event in the afternoon, I believe it will be free entry, at which everyone can come and hear the top winners of the Bridport Prize 2009, both poetry and short story, read their winning work in public for the first time. An informal event, because the compere is very informal - (!) - It will be a huge privilege.
Bridport Festival HERE