All three Cultured Llama editors had a grand day out at the Society of Authors’ Awards Party on 25 June. Maria C. McCarthy, poetry and fiction editor and author of strange fruits and As Long as it Takes, had known for several weeks that she had won the 2015 Tom-Gallon Trust Award for her short story ‘More Katharine than Audrey’, but was sworn to secrecy until the awards party. She invited managing editor (and husband) Bob Carling and non-fiction editor Anne-Marie Jordan to share in her success at a glittering evening at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London. Maria received an award of £1000 from Sarah Waters, and rubbed shoulders with writers such as Philip Pullman, Michele Roberts, Lady Antonia Fraser, Daljit Nagra, Patience Agbabi and Joanne Harris.
It was the poshest do I have ever been to, in a beautiful venue, and surrounded by people whose names I had seen on book covers. Highlights of the evening were talking to Philip Pullman about my winning story, and having a long chat with Joanne Harris about our mutual love of short stories; we both loved Oscar Wilde’s fairytales when we were children. So many people I spoke to agreed that short stories are difficult to master, and that they are underrated as a literary form. I am still trying to process the win and the wonderful evening, but it really is true.
Here is what the judges had to say about the winning story:
The writer weaves a sensual, tactile, restrained and ultimately very stylish story of loss cut through with make-belief. Because the writing is so clean, and the handling of pace so clever, the story is allowed to tell itself. It’s an unusual, rich and extremely satisfying picture of lives not lived, but ‘dreamed of’. Eleanor Dymott
Impressively compressed. Aamer Hussein
‘More Katharine than Audrey’ was first published on Writers’ Hub along with a blog piece about how Maria came to write the story: From Norah to Noreen: on writing ‘More Katharine than Audrey’. The story also appears in Maria’s collection of linked short stories, As Long as it Takes.
What is even more amazing is that TWO Cultured Llama authors have now won the Tom-Gallon Trust Award: Emma Timpany won it in 2011. Her debut collection of stories has just been published and is available here: The Lost of Syros.