Well, the Brit Writers’ was a slightly surreal experience, but not a bad one by any means. The venue was great – IndigO2 – and someone had gone to a lot of effort and spent a lot of money to make it a special occasion. All of the awards but one are for unpublished writers, which is a great chance for people to get a little recognition and encouragement for what they’re doing. Mind you, there were a few speakers who seemed a little bitter about the ‘traditonal’ publishing houses and their ‘huge marketing budgets’ etc, which made for a few uncomfortable moments. Seemed a bit odd to invite a selection of published authors and their editors/agents only to tell them how elitist and mean they are. Oh, and then to surprise one lucky winner with a newly printed and published copy of her book. Anyway. I was most impressed by some of the young people (better not say ‘children’ – would ‘kids’ be all right?) particularly 11yr old Robyn Lacey who wandered among the tables of several hundred people reciting one of her poems. That takes some guts.
As expected, I didn’t find myself on stage accepting the published writer award, but I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me anyway! The support is very much appreciated. As everyone guessed, Terry Pratchett won but that’s no bad thing. And there’s no shame in being pipped by the bearded one. He is, after all, a rather popular author. He gave a good speech and looked great.
Well done everyone who won awards.