The inaugural Fish-Knife Award has been shared between two writers, Orlaith O'Sullivan and Ewan Gault. Due to the high quality of the entries in this inauguaral year, it took longer than planned to whittle them down and even then the prize is shared. The winner was finally announced on 15 December 2006. The Crime Writers’ Association joined with Fish Publishing of County Cork to promote this competition.
This year Orlaith sold up and moved from Devon to Madeira to give herself time and space to write fiction. Before that, she completed a Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin, lectured in English literature, and curated a private book collection in Michigan. She has worked on Wall Street and for Devon County Council. She is the author of academic articles, and editor of several British Library publications. Gilt will be her first piece of fiction published. She was born in Dublin to Cork parents.
In addition to short stories, she is working on a trilogy of novels and a screenplay. The abundance of local wine is not helping matters.
Ewan was born in Kuwait in 1981, grew up in lots of different places but mainly Scotland and graduated from Glasgow University's creative writing masters course with a distinction this summer.
The story Honeysuckle and Cats Piss is one of the chapters of his recently completed novel The Fine Young Blades, which he is hoping to find a publisher for. Other chapters have been published as runner up prize in last year's Scotsman/Orange short story competition and in an anthology of Scottish writing called Outside of a Dog.
The Fish-Knife Award prize will be split evenly between Ewan and Orlaith each receiving €800 and ten copies of the Anthology, together with an engraved Silver Fish Knife. Their winning stories will be published in the 2007 Fish Anthology, along with the stories from the four runners up, who are:
Martin Bott - Luz
Linda Evans - Normal service will be resumed shortly
Polly Nelson - Air Cowboys
Marc Philips - Caye Caulker Tides
The runners up also receive a cash prize of €100.
Philip Gooden explains the CWA's enthusiasm for this new competition:
“Every writer, crime or otherwise, knows there are few outlets for short stories these days. So the link-up between Fish Publishing, an independent publishing company based in County Cork, and the CWA is very good news. Fish publish short story anthologies to a high standard, both in terms of writing and production. (A recent anthology, All The King’s Horses, was a collection of historical fictions with a lengthy foreword by Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and the White and one of the judges for the anthology.) Fish works by charging an entry fee for stories – the best ten or so are selected and the winner receives a prize of several thousand euros, with subsidiary prizes for the runners-up. The competitions are open to any author, first-timers or old hands, the only stipulation being that the work submitted hasn’t been published before. Since the CWA is in the business of promoting crime writing, we give our enthusiastic backing to this new venture.”
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