I'm covered in flour - it would take too long to explain...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Stupidly happy!

I have won a competition! I don't think I have come first in anything since I won a watch through the unicorn theater when I was nine. I had to draw a picture of when Asterix the Gaul met a unicorn, and trust me, back then a digital watch was a pretty big deal, this was when a sony walkman cost the equivalent of £300.

Anyway, I think I am just as amazingly pleased now to have won a prize thanks to my pal Rachael (mother of Ruben, which I write like this as it sounds so wonderfully Old Testament) who saw it advertised on Mumsnet. To level with you, I was not totally clear what the prize was, but the challenge was to write a 150 word pitch for an unpublished novel, and the winning pitch was going to be chosen by two editors at Bloomsbury, so frankly had the prize been to make their tea I would have done it!

So - here is my, and oh how I love saying this - winning pitch -

Grigory Dankovich and his family escape Soviet Russia in 1968. After an early marriage and life as a boxer, he is drawn into the underworld. Gradually sickened by what he has become, he tries to escape but instead looses his family and goes to prison for a murder he doesn’t commit, to save a naive boy.
Twenty-six years later British artist Saskia Cooper comes to New York and scratches a living as an interior artist. Marriage, motherhood and a divorce later, she feels her life has run aground, until she meets ‘Danko’ when she’s commissioned to paint murals in a strip club. They embark on a passionate affair, which offers him a second chance at a family life and sets her creativity free at last. Her jealous ex-husband and a misguided but vengeful gangster from Danko’s past threaten their future together. To save her, must he loose her forever?

And here's the most joyful email I have read this week - 

Congratulations! You are the First Prize winner of our competition held in collaboration with Mumsnet. Your entry was chosen from 120 entries and was judged by Helen Garnons-Williams- Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury Publishing, Ele Fountain-Senior Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury Publishing and Alysoun Owen-Editor of Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook.

We will be featuring your winning book idea and the editors’ comments on our website from tomorrow, but in advance, here is the review written for your entry:

This pithy, fast-paced description hints at a story full of thrills, intrigue and passion. It has all the ingredients for a rollercoaster of a ride through the murkier parts of the protagonists’ pasts and presents. I defy you not to be caught up by the drama that has been so concisely but dramatically evoked. Will Danko and Saskia get to live happily ever after?

As First Prize winner, we are also pleased to offer you a free How Strong is Your Book Idea? review (RRP £119.99) from an established Editor and top Literary Agent. I will send a further email tomorrow with details on claiming your prize. In the meantime, here is a link for further information on the How Strong is Your Book Idea? review service.

I will of course keep you all posted and for now, continue to dance round my front room in the sort of happy bubble unencumbered by a digital watch! 

(Thanks to Marcus for my photo btw, probably not book jacket material but hey, you never know! And also thanks to Gary at Bubblecow who's e-course on pitch writing has clearly been worth it.)

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