At the Hennessy Literary Awards in February 2015, Sara Baume was named Hennessy New Irish Writer, Paula Meehan was inducted to the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame, Simon Lewis won the emerging poetry award and I won the first Fiction Prize (woo hoo) with The Dead Of Winter, which is here if you’d like a read.
Books featuring drinking, yes; I’ve seen plenty of them. (Raymond Carver is the obvious choice I guess; David Lodge also writes fantastic drinking scenes in The British Museum is Falling Down). But a book that actually is a drink – that was new to me. And as you can tell from the photo – Margaret Halton of United Agents is on my right – I’m very happy with my lot. As well as the personalised, book-bound bottles of cognac we received, Hennessy also put up a generous prize fund. A big thanks to Hennessy, to Ciaran Carty, Martina Devlin and Xiaolu Guo.
When the nominations were announced in January I wrote, ‘there are few outlets for short stories, and even fewer that publish so consistently and with such a profile as New Irish Writing. Just being accepted for it was a big deal for me; getting this far is extra jam on the bread.’
I got the jam and then some.