Friday, November 3, 2006 at 01:27 PM

In Books
November 3, 2006

Spent last night in Dublin at the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award, for which I had been nominated in the ‘fiction’ category but did not win. It’s interesting, not winning – it felt different to how I expected. I would have thought I’d’ve been disappointed, at least a bit, but in fact I wasn’t really. I had a good, if slightly bizarre, night, the best part of which I spent moaning to my fellow nominees Rodge Glass, James Scudamore and Philip O’Ceallaigh (the winner) about my New Book. I’m currently at the ‘it’s the *worst book in the world*’ stage with it, and seem to have got very vocal, shouting at everyone about how incredibly bad my book is. I went through this with Disobedience too, though, so I think it’ll pass.

The evening made me think about the nature of prizes. In general, authors don’t have to apply for literary prizes. Someone at the publishers keeps an eye on what we’re eligible for and submits our manuscripts, or is asked to submit. We only hear about being part of that process at the point when we’re longlisted or shortlisted. So, it’s strange. After the award was announced, several people commiserated with me on not having won as if I must be disappointed but the truth is (money aside; money is always nice) that you can’t be that disappointed about not getting something you never asked for or decided you wanted.

I suppose it’s all about how much you wrote the book (or made whatever creative work it was) with the aim of winning the award. Which, unlike Kanye West apparently, I didn’t. I did, however, have hopes of writing not-the-worst-novel-in-the-world as my second book. Sigh. Back to work.

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