Sunday, November 18, 2007

Vanessa Gebbie; writing, competitions, and brilliance.

Unsurprisingly I love reading as well as writing, but I am incredibly fussy about what I read. God I really am awful; judgemental, bitchy, impatient. Sometimes on this very blog I have moaned about how I yearn to be moved, inspired, delighted or even just entertained by the stories I read, and yet I am so often disappointed. As a writer who is starting to submit to competitions and magazines I am keen to read those who have previously been published in the 'zines or comps. I promise that I don't start from a sneery position, I genuinely wish to be impressed. More often than not I am left feeling very blah about it, and truly wondering what I am missing that the editors saw. Then one day I read the winning entry of a competition at Cadenza by Vanessa Gebbie called 'Yellow diggers, dead crows, gifts" and it was all that I aspire to as a short story writer. Beautiful, moving, precise prose. So, I googled her name, found her blog and left her a message.
Which was when I began to discover how generous she is as a writer. She visited my blog and offered to critique a story I was moaning about. We left messages back and forth, and eventually she invited me to join her online collective for intermediate literary fiction writers "The Fiction Workhouse". I honestly feel that it is only now that my writing can move on to the next level, and a lot of that is to do with Vanessa. She teaches, nurtures, discusses, explains. I don't always agree with her but wow, she's great to disagree with too, she'll listen and reconsider and argue with passion.

Anyway, she has got plenty going on: a short story collection coming out next year, she came first this year in The Daily Telegraph Novel competition, she is working on her debut novel and now, fanfare please:

She has placed second in The Bridport Prize.

I just wanted to say huge, warm congratulations to a brilliant and lovely writer.


Vanessa Gebbie said...

Oh Sara
I've just seen this... thanks for all your lovely words.



Vanessa Gebbie said...


You have just been awarded The Shmeless Lion!

Go to my blog for details and instructions how to download the most prestigious award in the universe!


Unknown said...

Well firstly Vanessa, you are very welcome, and it's all true.

Secondly, ooh, an award, how lovely, thanks.

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