We did it!!!!… Against what felt like impossible odds, my wee story ‘How to Build a Space Rocket’ and my brave little narrator Keshika have won the award for Short Story of the Year 2018. The announcement was made at the An Post Irish Book Awards on Tuesday 27th November. I got the shock of my life! It was such a strong shortlist, featuring talented best-selling authors. As far as I can remember, I think I said something like this:
‘I can’t believe this... I didn’t think I’d even be able to attend the awards because I’m due a baby NOW! Earlier in the week, when my editor RM Clarke had asked me if I had a few words I wanted her to read out in case I won, my reply was ‘ah sure, I don’t think we need to worry about that!’ The other stories were all so good. I could never have imagined this…
I’m even more thrilled because my story was published in a really important anthology called The Broken Spiral, which was published last year in aid of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. It’s an anthology about the power of words and the power of stories as a force for healing.
Thanks to my editor Remie Purtill-Clarke for nominating my story for this award, and to our publisher New Island. Also, thanks to my family for their love and support. I’d like to dedicate this award to my little daughter Mary, and to my new baby who is due to arrive very soon (but hopefully not just too soon!). Thank you so much.’