Wednesday, 18 November 2009

a Bridport 2009 winner

I've been sitting on this news for almost 2 months; I couldn't 'make it public' until now. Talking about it here was out of the question, which was tough - this blog being about the writing hike - and this news being the biggest writing thing that's happened to me so far.

On September 23rd I got an email from the organisers of the Bridport Prize to tell me that my story, In a seaside cafe, is one of the 13 winning stories this year.

If you're a writer who's been sending work out you'll know what the Bridport Prize means, and the weight it carries, and you'll understand how my face went numb when I read the email, and how because I was on my own in the house I had to get a large vodka right away to celebrate.

And, if you were around at the start of my blogging life (June) you might remember me talking about getting my Bridport entry ready, and how I felt both inspired and intimidated by this year's judge: my favourite writer, Ali Smith.

It is an odd feeling to know that she's read and chosen my story, and even harder to take in that there were 14,500 entries (including poetry) this year.

On Sunday I'll be attending the prize giving in Bridport, where Ali Smith will be, and I have no idea what the day will be like or if I'll meet her, but I'm excited, nervous, anxious, thrilled, and all the rest.

It's weird because I've known about this for so long I thought I'd got used to the idea - but my stomach is doing flips as I write this blog post.

And now I have to dash out to work. I'll be writing here about what happens next and the prize giving - unless I make a faux pas - which I have a habit of doing when in the company of people I admire (as a teenager I told Tim Wheeler from Ash that he was a 'babe'. I won't say that Ali Smith. Must not say that to Ali Smith).


Jessica said...

WOOOOOOOOOO - Congratulations :)

Alex said...

Congrats Teresa,

So happy for you.


Nik Perring said...


awesome news! Huge congrats!


Teresa Stenson said...

Thanks Jessica, Alex and Nik!

emily josephine mcphillips said...

i just came across your blog from a link from another blog and couldn't dismiss your awesome news! how brilliant. :)

Anonymous said...

That's fan-flipping-amazing! That's cheered me up that has! :)

Well done Teresa!


Nik Perring said...

Right. Teresa. Can I just ask why on earth you're not jumping off the ceiling about this?? Err please??? It's freaking awesome! Dear God, please let yourself enjoy and celebrate what you've achieved, cos what you've achieved is utterly awesome.




Lynne Hackles said...

Well done and good luck for the weekend. Here's something I've hung on to when I've been nervous. It's helped me for many years now, increased my confidence, and was said by Lynda Lee-Potter. 'It's foolish to be destroyed by nerves because it takes away so much of the fun.'

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Well done! ~Miriam

Paul McIntyre said...

This is really excellent news Teresa, well done!

Teresa Stenson said...

Emily - hello, thanks very much for stopping by and commenting :)

Katie - aw, happy to have cheered you, girl. Thanks for well-doning me.

Nik - oooh, I must be giving too much of a non-chalant vibe about this then? Okay, just a second - yep - a ha - I'm up on the ceiling, using bamboo to type the keys... I want to come back down now... I'll just float down very gracefully. La la la. Yep. I did some celebrating in September (it began with that large vodka) but I've sort of tried to put it to the back of my mind until now, and just use it as a motivation to keep writing. I'll certainly celebrate my way from here to London to Bridport and back this weekend. Thanks for your enthusiasm :)

Lynne - that's a brilliant quote, thank you. I've been trying to say something like that to myself, but that crystalises it and I shall use it forevermore!

Miriam - thank you so much.

Paul - thank you to you, too.

Christian Bell said...

Congratulations! Amazing news!

Tania Hershman said...

Wonderful news!!! I'm so happy for you.....must have been really hard not being able to say anything about it for so long. Whee!!!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Lovely - Now I can tell everyone how brilliant your story is! Congrats and oodles of them.
Really looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday at Bridport where Im buzzing about, doing a workshop, and introducing you lot in the reading event - drop me an email if you want to know anything about the day, which is LOVELY and friendly and special ... and all sorts. We can also natter about the readings in the afternoon...?

my email: vgebbie AT gmail DOT com


Anne Brooke said...

Very well done! Great news indeed!! :)) Axxx

Teresa Stenson said...

Christian - thank you!

Tania - yes, it was so hard not to write about it here, knowing it was inluencing how I felt about writing. Thank you so much, especially for the 'whee' :)

Vanessa - hello! Thanks for your reassuring words and for your welcome, nice to meet you here and I'm looking foward to meeting you 'there' too. I'll send you an email soon, cheers for that.

Anne - thanks :)

Jenzarina said...

Hello, just saw your news on Nik's blog and came across to say CONGRATULATIONS!
When do we get to read your story?

Teresa Stenson said...

Thank you, Jenzarina - the story will be in the Bridport 2009 anthology, which I think will be available soon - maybe from next week if it's being launched at the prize giving. I'm not 100% sure, actually - but it's not online anywhere yet. I'll let you know when I know... and thanks for asking :)

Teresa Stenson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nik Perring said...

That's more like it! ;)

essygie said...

Congrats, really good news :-)

Teresa Stenson said...

Glad that's better for you, Nik.

Thank you, Essy :)

Andrea Eames said...

Huge congratulations, that's amazing!

B. Freret said...

Congratulations, what a wonderful story!

Teresa Stenson said...

Thanks Andrea and B :)