The literary life of EDWARD JAMES, author,reviewer, occasional poet and former pension adviser to the government of Kyrgyzstan
TWO COMPETITIONS AND A FESTIVAL
NAWG is the National Association of Writers’ Groups of which Cheltenham Writers’ Circle is a member. If you run a writing group and you don’t already belong to NAWG check out their website – http://www.nawg.co.uk . Each year they hold a Festival of Writing (NAWGfest) which for some years past has been held at the University of Warwick. I haven’t been to the Festival for about 15 years, mainly because it clashed with the Historical Novel Society Conference, but this year the HNS conference is in America so I am renewing my acquaintance with NAWGfest on September 2nd to 4th.
I have two special reasons for being there :
Earlier this year I won 2nd prize in the NAWG novella competition, on the strength of the first 5000 words of my next novel (or maybe novella) about the adventures of David Ingram, the first man to walk across the present day United States from North to South (see the page AMERICA’S FIRST ENGLISHMAN ON THIS BLOG). The prize was £200 to spend with the NAWG printers, CMP Digital Print Solutions. I chose to ask them to produce a set of five short stories from my childhood and my National Service under the title Collateral Damage. You will find all of these stories on the pages of this blog. The resulting anthology will be featured in the next issue of the NAWG newsletter, Link, and I will be reading from it at NAWGfest. It will also be on sale there at £2.99.
The War that Never Was
The last of the memoirs in Collateral Damage is ‘The War that Never Was’, about my part in the NATO simulated nuclear war in the summer of 1959. I submitted this as an entry for the NAWG short story competition in the memoir category and I have been short listed for the prize. The awards ceremony will take place at the NAWGfest gala dinner. Since there are three other entries on the short list this may well be my prize that never was, but even so I’ll have my acceptance speech in my pocket and a hankie to wipe away my tears.