thinking outside the tank

So I says to Fay I says

with one comment

On Thursday, 07Oct2010, I attended a prize-giving lunch in Kensington in the company of the three judges: Fay Weldon, James Buchan, and Deborah Moggach. My entry to the Mail on Sunday novel competition had come third. This earned me £200 in book tokens or £1.37 for each of the 146 words I submitted. Also present were the other five winners and a handful of literary agents and commissioning editors.

Talk about dance of the the trolls in the hall of the mountain king. In this literary landscape we winners were the foothills sitting between mighty peaks of writing achievement – small fish in a big pond. The lunch was excellent, as was the generosity of the judges all of whom gave their advice and encouragement freely. All my illusions about my ability to write were reinforced.

Since hearing of this success in August, I’ve stretched those 146 words to 79,000 which is only 1000 short of the minimal entry length for submission to the Terry Pratchett Prize. The writing was described by the judges as: ‘a quite grand idea, an alternative universe, done most elegantly’.  Here it is:

The Gates-Guggenheim Museum on the Upper East Side of New Manhattan, Antarctica was a faithful copy of the building that had once stood at the southern end of Museum Mile in New York City. Frank Lloyd Wright would have appreciated its unexpected harmony with the new setting. It was a small step from his Prairie Style to this building which stood in the bleak landscape like a great slab of ice at the nose of a glacier, seemingly about to topple into the sea. Its pale, outward sloping exterior, emitting a bluish pearlescent light, evoked memories of building-sized floes breaking away from the ice-shelf that many New Manhattanites had seen and feared towards the end of their difficult journey south. In the imaginations of some, the curved lines brought to mind a trapped cruise ship with decks tilted, crushed and creaking in the grip of the freezing winter.


One Response

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  1. Congratulations and well done on your achievement! Keep up the good words 😉 Best wishes, CatX


    October 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

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