Saturday was the Bristol Short Story Award Ceremony, held at the Arnolfini on the Quayside, amid a city which when we arrived earlier in the day, seemed awash with police, the EDL and We Are Bristol supporters. Despite appearances the city remained mostly trouble free and the Muslim community were praised for their restraint and dignity.
We had a lovely evening organised chiefly by Joe who knew all the shortlisted writers names as he’d been studying our photos. Writers had come a long way – from Madagascar, from Cork, to celebrate the anthology and some to see their work in print for the first time.
Queen Of The Short Story and one of the judges Tania Hershman gave a great speech about short writing in an expanding universe. The shortlisted writers were each presented with a cheque and two copies of the anthology. The worthy winner John Austen sent a message all the way from Australia. And when the formalities were over we toasted the anthology in the small but temptingly stocked Arnolfini bookstore.
It felt very special to be a writer involved in The Bristol Prize, which has a growing international reputation and is clearly very much a part of the city’s cultural life – long may it thrive and many thanks to all.