Broadcast live by the Society of Authors on 10 June 2020 as part of the SoA @ Home Festival.
Meet some of the 2020 SoA Awards shortlistees.
Robyn Law talked to Catriona Ward, Okechukwu Nzelu, Gaby Koppel and Rónán Hession, about writing and being shortlisted during the health crisis.
Rónán Hession is an Irish writer based in Dublin and his short stories have been published in The Honest Ulsterman and The Bohemyth: his flash fiction has been published in Flash Fiction and Brilliant Flash Fiction. As Mumblin’ Def Ro he has released three albums of storytelling songs. His third album Dictionary Crimes was nominated for Choice Music Prize for Irish album of the year. He has a degree from Trinity College, Dublin and is a top civil servant in the Republic of Ireland.
Gaby Koppel is a freelance TV Producer and journalist with credits that include Crimewatch UK, The Experiment, Holocaust Memorial Day, Child of Our Time – The Children’s Stories and Rip-Off Britain. She also writes regularly for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Jewish Chronicle. In 2008 she left the BBC for a master’s degree in Creative Writing at City University, to fulfil a long-held ambition of writing fiction. She won the Christopher Little Literary Agency Award, 2010 and was longlisted for the Bath Novel award 2016. Gaby was born in Cardiff of Hungarian and German heritage. Currently dividing her time between London and MediaCityUK in Salford, she is one half of BergholtBrown (film and TV production company) with her husband, film director, Stephen Brown.
Okechukwu Nzelu is a writer and teacher. He was born in Manchester in 1988, read English at Girton College, Cambridge and completed the Teach First programme. His work has been published in Agenda, PN Review, E-magazine and The Literateur and his essay ‘Troubles with God’ will be published in the anthology Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space (Trapeze, 2019). In 2015 he was the recipient of a New Writing North Award for The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, which is his debut novel.
Catriona Ward was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. Her next gothic thriller, The Last House on Needless Street, will be published March 2021 by Viper (Serpents Tail). Ward’s second novel, Little Eve (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018) won the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award and the August Derleth Prize for Best Horror Novel at the 2019 British Fantasy Awards, making her the only woman to have won the prize twice, and was a Guardian best book of 2018. Her debut Rawblood (W&N, 2015) won Best Horror Novel at the 2016 British Fantasy Awards, was shortlisted for the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award and a WHSmith Fresh Talent title. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. She lives in London and Devon.