Last night, novelist Rosamund Lupton, literary agent Felicity Blunt and Managing Director of Myriad Editions, Candida Lacey, took to the stage of the Purcell Room, on London’s Southbank Centre, to give a one-stop-shop Writers’ Clinic – ‘How Get Your First Novel Published’ – in association with Grazia magazine. It was a lively, engaging (and hot!) event that went on for more than an hour afterwards, with the panellists generously answering all questions that audience members wanted answering.
Tonight, it is the turn of the authors shortlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction to take to the stage of the neighbouring Queen Elizabeth Hall. Chaired by the 2012 Chair of Judges, Joanna Trollope, the shortlisted novelists are:
Esi Edugyan – Half Blood Blues
Anne Enright – The Forgotten
Georgina Harding – Painter of Silence
Madeline Miller – Song of Achilles
Cynthia Ozick – Foreign Bodies
Ann Patchett – State of Wonder
Sadly, Cynthia Ozick and Ann Patchett are not able to be in London for the event. However Cynthia Ozick’s agent, David Miller, will be reading on her behalf. Previous OPF winner, Ann Patchett, has kindly – in the middle of a major US book tour – found the time both to record a reading and commentary on her shortlisted novel, which will be broadcast.
Finally, at the Royal Festival Hall itself – on Wednesday 30th May – this year’s Orange Prize for Fiction will be awarded. It will be an extraordinary event, not just a celebration of six outstanding novels, but also a celebration of the wonderful partnership between the Women’s Prize for Fiction and our long term sponsor, Orange, which has run for seventeen years. Next year, of course, we hope to be back in our traditional place on the Southbank, only working in partnership with a new sponsor. But these next few days belong to the six excellent novels on the 2012 shortlist and the hard working judges who produced such a superb shortlist.
If you haven’t yet read them, this is your chance before the 2012 winner is announced – you have forty eight hours!