Wednesday 10 September 2014

Facing the Dragons

Last night I received a call from Rosie Canning.

'You've won,' she said. For a moment or two I wondered what on earth she meant. 'The Dragons.'

In May, The Finchley Literary Festival held a Dragon's Pen event where 14 writers each had 5 minutes in which to pitch a novel or short stories to three formidable dragons. In reality, Gillian Stern, Cari Rosen and Mary Musker were all very supportive of our writing with great immediate feedback, minus any fire breathing. One writer would be selected for some mentoring.

I am thrilled to be chosen as the writer who will now be able to receive some mentoring and have replicated Gillian's very kind words in her email.

We three Dragons are delighted to let you know that Lindsay Bamfield has won this year's Finchley Literary Festival's Dragon's Pen for her novel-in-progress Do Not Exceed Fifty.

Lindsay writes extremely well. Her narrative voice is engaging and convincing and we were impressed with the flow of the story, the immediacy of the voice, the structure of the narrative and the tone of her dialogue. Her internal and external observation is excellent and we found ourselves drawn in to Xanthe's life, eager to know if her quest to 'find a man' works out. There is an effortless tone to her writing - a fiendishly difficult skill to pull off.

Lindsay will now have the opportunity to be mentored by Gillian Stern, an editor and writer for Bloomsbury, Orion and Penguin.

In addition, we are also awarding a runner-up spot to Anne Oatley, for her novel-in-progress Blue Devil. We were excited by the strength and originality of her writing, which is taut, intriguing and surprising. Anne will also be given the opportunity to be mentored by Gillian.

We loved being Dragons and over the next couple of days, will be sending some feedback to all the writers who entered. Thank you for having us and we hope to be back next year. 

Gillian, Cari and Mary

I'm really looking forward to the next step, which will be quite a new experience for me, although of course, Greenacre Writers members have critiqued my work in the past which I found very beneficial - as well as sometimes challenging. Their input certainly helped me be able to present something worthy of the Dragons.  
Congratulations to runner up Anne Oatley. We are both very fortunate to be selected as I know we were up against some pretty formidable opposition.
Signing off so I can go and practise jumping so I won't be exaggerating when I say I'm over the moon.