I have been keeping a secret from you all for the last three or four weeks. Naughty I know, but it is a good one and I can finally share it because I have been bursting to tell everyone… I am going to be one of the judges of Fiction Uncovered 2015 alongside Matthew Bates of WHSmith, Cathy Galvin of The Word Factory and chaired by author and journalist India Knight. I am beyond chuffed and thrilled (and honoured obviously) to have been asked, as many of you who visit regularly will know it is one of my favourite book prizes and initiatives so I cannot wait to get reading.
In case you haven’t heard me rattle on about the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize before (if you have just skip this paragraph) let me tell you more. It is an annual prize awarded to eight British writers of outstanding works of fiction – novels, short stories and graphic novels. What makes it all the more special is that it seeks to promote emerging and deserving British fiction writers of outstanding work, looking beyond the debuts and the bestsellers, leading to uncovering and finding hidden gems that you can then stuff your shelves with. How could anyone not love that? I think there are going to be some absolute corking reads I would never have read when going through the submissions, there always is with their longlists.
Now of course this may mean a few changes for the blog. I won’t be reviewing any of the submitted novels (or putting them on my GoodReads shelves in case you were thinking of being clever and sneakily looking there) until way after the eight winners are announced. If I have read some and reviewed them already then oops, I didn’t know. So it might mean the blog lessens its review content over the next few months. That said I have a backlog of twenty something reviews so that should keep us all going for a while. But also with lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of reading ahead I might not have so much time to blog. I have already planned to get up and hour earlier to read, then read at lunchtime and do nothing else when I get home and probably stay up later in my last month at my day job, then I can just read, read, read. I did think though, once the process is finished I will probably have a whole years worth of reviews to bombard you with!
Anyway, I am ridiculously excited and wanted to share it with you now I am allowed! I, quite literally, cannot wait to get reading, I feel like my eyes are going to be opened to lots and lots of wonderful new reads, which will probably make judging and whittling down really tough but let’s not think about that yet…