The audience for the 2020 Prize launch were treated to a wonderful interview between Yvonne Battle-Felton, whose Remembered was long listed for the 2019 Women’s Prize, and Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, of Leeds Beckett University. Yvonne Battle-Felton spoke warmly about the joy of winning the Northern Writers Award with her debut novel, Remembered, and the opportunities this opened up, both in terms of agency representation through Elise Dillsworth, and then publication through Dialogue Books. Her readings of Remembered were moving and impactful, and led to long queues for book signing after the event!
Terry King, President Elect of Soroptimist International of Leeds, opened the evening by sharing the Prize’s congratulations to Bernardine Evaristo for her Booker Prize win, and saying how important the Prize was in helping to bring new voices to our bookshelves. The list of Prize alumni successes grows year-on-year and includes our 2014 winner, Mahsuda Snaith, whose second novel How to Find Home has recently been featured on Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime. Terry thanked the Prize’s core supporters, Ilkley Literature Festival, Peepal Tree Press, Aspire-igen, Arts Council of England – to which, of course, needs to be added Soroptimist International of Leeds – for their ongoing commitment and support, and confirmed that we are all looking forward to the 2020 entries. Please watch this space!
2020 Prize launch (L-R): Emily Zobel Marshall, Jennie Gillham, Yvonne Battle-Felton, Terry King, Pat Kilbane, Val Saunders, Yvonne Singh, Fiona Goh