Thursday, 10 March 2011

NWR-featured Author makes Times £30,000 Prize Longlist

Roshi Fernando is a fantastic up-and-coming author who will be showcased in my first, May, issue of New Welsh Review with an extract from her novel in progress, The Elephant’s Wife. Her story, “The Fluorescent Jacket” was recently longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award: the most generous UK prize – at £30,000 – for a single short story. Roshi will hear this weekend whether she has made the shortlist. Among her nineteen longlist competitors are heavyweight hitters Hilary Mantel, Susan Hill, Gerard Woodward and the marvellous Michel Faber. Interestingly, eligible stories are not wholly new, only needing to have been published during 2010. After having won the Impress Prize for New Writers, 2009, an award with links to Creative Writing MA programmes, Roshi's story appeared in the prize’s 2010 collection of interwoven narratives on related Sri Lankan characters, Homesick. I came across Roshi on a Swansea University MA Creative Writing class, where her PhD is under the supervision of author Stevie Davies. Her story, “Three Cuts”, published last October in my new anthology from Seren, Sing Sorrow Sorrow, Dark and Chilling Tales, was a gory feminist recasting of Cinderella into a Machiavellian – or rather Grand-Guignolesque – Asian arranged marriage. Homesick is one of my favourite fiction titles of last year, and I hope to review it in more detail. Tomorrow, I’ll review-blog the nominated story, “The Fluorescent Jacket”.

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