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Escalator Literature Novel Writing Competition winners announced

  • Date: 28 February 2012
  • Area: South East
headshot of woman with cropped brown hair

One of the winning writers, Erin Soros. Credit: Courtesy Writers' Centre Norwich

This year, a talented range of writers from the East of England have been selected for support by the Arts Council’s talent development initiative Escalator Literature.

Programmed by Writers’ Centre Norwich, a literature development agency based in Norwich, ten winning writers have been selected for the Escalator Literature Novel Writing Competition, each getting the prize of a year's worth of professional development and mentoring support.

Their skills will be honed this year through the programme, culminating in a showcase event in London in September 2012.

Delivered by leading arts organisations in the region, Escalator can take artists to the next level of their careers or enable them to take time to explore new creative territories. As well as financial support through lottery-funded Grants for the arts, participants get help with promotion and building networks.

The winners, all writers of ambitious, high quality long-form fiction include those who are published in other genres and are graduates from impressive writing programmes. They were selected by a panel of judges and Escalator mentors including: Tobias Hill, Joanna Hines, Bernardine Evaristo, Katharine McMahon and Michelle Spring.

The ten winners are:

Rebecca Atkinson – freelance writer and journalist who is currently working on her novel Collecting Faces - a story of love and sight loss in London.

Elaine Bishop – former Group Editor of Mid-Anglia Newspapers, she has been writing a collection of short stories and is currently working on her debut novel.

Armando Celayo – his novel, For the Recovery of Lost Things, focuses on Dolores Moreno: patient mother, stern sister, loyal friend, reluctant mistress. Spanning from the 1960s to the 2030s, it explores the immigrant experience—its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires. 

Guinevere Glasfurd-Brown – currently working on her first novel, X Y Z, a novel about love, death and mathematics set in the 17thC Dutch Republic. X Y Z  tells the story of Helena Jans Van der Strom and the unseen relationship she had with René Descartes.

BTI Larsson – Scandinavian writer and teacher currently finishing a novel set in northern Sweden about the murder of a young boy and the children in his class, narrated by the boy’s schoolteacher.

K.J. Packer – his novel-in-progress Ring Master, is a story of family betrayal set around the Victorian travelling fairs, and focusing on the life of a female high rope walker.

Teresa Rogers – Norfolk born horticulturalist whose second novel is based in Norfolk, but not as you may know it.

Erin Soros – her novel-in-progress, Hook Tender, is set in an immigrant logging camp during the Second World War.  She has also produced a collection of prose and photographs, Morning is Vertical, which will be published this year from Rufus Books. 

Shereen Tadros – a Doctor at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, she is currently working on her first novel, which follows a young boy growing up in Alexandria in the 1950s, around the time of what has now become known as the first Egyptian Revolution.

Kate Worsley – completed her first novel SHE RISES last year and is now at work on her second novel FOXASH, which is set on a 1930s land settlement.

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive, Writers’ Centre Norwich, said: ‘Escalator 2011-12 looks set to be one of the most exciting yet. We have winners from all over the East of England and the work is diverse, exciting and ambitious.

‘Some of the writers have already had exciting conversations with publishers since the news went public last month, and all of them are well on the way to identifying their own priorities in a busy year of creative mentoring and professional development.’

To find out more about the competition, visit the Writers’ Centre Norwich website.