Text Box: Dorchester Literary Festival




Novel about Friendship wins the Hall & Woodhouse DLF Local Writing Prize

Despite all this year’s disruptions, the Hall & Woodhouse DLF Local Writing Prize has progressed to its final stage, with Ann K Biggins announced as the winner with her semi-autobiographical novel ‘Losing Jane’.

The judges (a leading literary agent and a publisher) said of the novel, which is set in Leeds and begins in the 1970s, “It’s a beautifully written story and the characters at its centre are heart-felt, wonderfully rounded and true. We were united in our decision that Ann should win, while highly commending the other authors for their books, which were both close contenders.”

Ann, who lives in Fordingbridge, began writing her novel purely for herself so was thrilled when she self-published, and found that plenty of others also loved it. “I am immensely proud of my story, and to have it acknowledged in this way is absolutely fantastic,” she said.

Anthony Woodhouse, Chairman of Hall & Woodhouse said, “We are immensely proud to support such an inspirational festival that celebrates literary talent across the south. These past few months have been tremendously difficult for many reasons, but it is fantastic news that we’ve been able to continue with the Prize. I understand the hard work and dedication that all authors put into their novels. Many congratulations to the winner and all the finalists.”

“When the entries came in there was little hint of how things were going to change so radically,” said Paul Atterbury, who co-founded the Festival with Janet Gleeson. “We knew that the award ceremony would have to be significantly restricted, but when the rule of six came into force it left us no choice but to cancel the ceremony and announce the winner with a press release. Not the ideal conclusion – but what has been ideal in 2020!

“We are very grateful to the writers who entered the prize, particularly those whose books made it to the long and short list; to our volunteer readers; our judges and, of course, to Hall & Woodhouse, for their shared determination to make the 2020 Prize still happen.”

“The delays have inevitably impacted upon plans for the next Writing Prize, so we’ve decided not to hold a competition in 2021. The closing date for the next one will therefore be March 15, 2022, and we look forward to receiving entries from the autumn of 2021. Full details will be on the website, along with the plans for the next Dorchester Literary Festival in October 2021.”

Ann, who wins £1,000 in prize money, is currently working on her second novel.

Janet Gleeson: 5th Oct 2020 13:35:00

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