Winner, Winner Nut Roast Dinner

It was my step-dad-in-law’s 82nd birthday yesterday and we all went out for a socially distanced Sunday lunch to celebrate. The pub we went to was really excellent at organising a safe space for the gathering of our familial bubble and we sat behind a Plexiglass screen on an outside balcony at a safe distance from everyone else and drank beer and prosecco and had a right laugh. Here is the birthday boy ordering just the one Irish coffee as he tucked into his caramel waffle. I was particularly grateful to get out and raise a glass with him, the boys, Paulina, my husband and mum-in-law because I had something brilliant to celebrate writing wise.

It was the perfect end to a particularly writerly week to be fair, I’d been sent the proofs of the Fish Winners’ Anthology 2020 so I could do any corrections to my included piece; Retreat West had published a video of me reading ‘Sour’ on their You Tube Channel as part of their August Summer Spotlight series which you can watch by following this link, You+Tube+Jan+Kaneen&docid=608029921567969020&mid=FAFB7138CD81D0AB08F0FAFB7138CD81D0AB08F0&view=detail&FORM=VIRE – and I’d just WON the Segora short story competition 2020. The announcement was made on that very Sunday morning – here’s the link to it

You can read my winning story by following the link and clicking on the title. I’m so delighted to have won this comp and am very grateful to the judge and organisers for the opportunity it affords, especially as they donate part of the entry takings to the brilliant charity Médecins Sans Frontières. Having won such a fab prize, I feel ready to properly polish my short story collection and get it sent out to potential publishers.

On the downside, it is a little bit disappointing to miss the presentation/workshop weekend that was planned by Segora before covid-19 hit, but they are going to resurrect it next year when it’s deemed safe to do so. The launch of the Fish Anthology, which was planned to take place in Ireland, has also been cancelled, as was the winners’ party for the Comma Press short-listees at the Northern Short Story Festival in Leeds in May – so it looks like I seriously chose the wrong year to start subbing my short stories if going to gatherings, and meeting other writers was what I wanted to do!

But I won’t let that wee cloud darken the blue-sky feeling I’ve got at the moment. I just need to thank my lucky stars and wonderful feedback buddies for the little slew of success I’ve had recently, and also Grandpa Bri – for having a perfectly timed, wonderfully sunny, deliciously boozy 82nd birthday!

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