Carolyn Kirby, Winner of the First Novel Award for Half Of You
“I started writing as my children got older and I began to find, between the bustle of family life and stints of English language teaching, a few solitary hours in each week. I loved how those hours on my own, researching, imagining and writing, could flood my mind with powerful images from past worlds. There was something almost supernatural about it. And I loved the sense of challenge and purpose that words on a page gave to my days.
As the children grew, so did my solitary hours spent exploring stories with sentences. I realised that I couldn’t move my writing forward on my own. If my work was to become more than a hobby I needed other writers and editors to help me. So gradually, through writing groups, courses and competitions I met many wonderful writers and creative-writing professionals. So many of them, from all parts of the fiction-writing community, have helped and inspired me.
And now, following the amazing news about winning the Bluepencilagency First Novel Award, I have entered another stage on my writing journey. A whole range of new literary experiences and friendships, I hope, await discovery. Huge thanks and good wishes are due to the judges, Eve White and Saskia Sarginson and to Emma and Sara at Bluepencilagency for giving Half Of You, and me, such a valuable helping hand on our way.”