Friday, 30 October 2009

I won!

Or should that be:


I feel very honoured to be chosen as the second winner of the Luke Bitmead bursary.
Last night was simply wonderful - the atmosphere at the event was warm and friendly, and before the announcement we all chatted and got to know each other. I spoke with finalists Garlen Lo & Catherine Scott, both of whom had great sounding novels, and then got to meet Elaine & Tiffany, Luke`s mother & sister.
Luke tragically died in 2006, aged just 34, and his family established the bursary to ensure that Luke`s name & memory lives on. The bursary was set up to encourage & support the work of struggling talented writers.
Possessing the strength and optimism to turn such a sad loss into a positive venture is a very special thing, and Elaine is obviously an emotionally courageous woman.

When the winners were announced, I just burst into tears. I couldn`t help it - the whole event just felt so charged with feeling, and of course I am grateful that the judging panel liked my book. The Woman before Me will be published by Legend press in summer 2010!

Andrew Blackman, last years winner with his novel On the Holloway Road, gave a heartfelt speech about how, though he had not met Luke, he is a apart of his life because of the bursary.

I also enjoyed chatting to Legend press, Tom Chalmers & Lucy Boguslowski, and to writers Zoe Jenny & Sam Mills.
Such an inspiring group of people, such a special event.
I feel very blessed.


  1. Congratulations, Ruth! I'm really happy for you. It was good to meet you last night, and nice to see someone else going through the emotions I went through last year (I didn't cry, but only because I'm repressed).

    Good luck with The Woman Before Me and with the rest of your writing career - but for now, just savour the feeling!

  2. Thanks so much, Andrew.
    I`m still in that unreal place where I keep having to pinch myself!
    Really good to meet you last night - & good luck to you too!

  3. Congrats, Ruth, really well done!

    Lend us a £!

  4. Has it sunk in yet, Ruth?

    I'm so pleased for you. I can say "I was there when...'

    I wish you much much much success!

  5. Garlen,
    Thanks for that.
    Your novel sounds great - good luck finding it a home!
    Best wishes,

  6. Many, many congratulations, Ruth. Was wondering when you'd hit the big time, as I saw the start of The Woman Before Me after the Debut Dagger, at JM's and knew then it was a terrific read. If you have a mo, email me via my website.
    Good luck from now on!
    Sally Spedding

  7. Hi Ruth! I've just arrived here from Authonomy as directed. How is the editing going? I too am furiously proofreading 'Phil' and have already entered another competition, as the Bitmead Bursary night was so encouraging! I'm also going to bear in mind your words about competitions being more fruitful than agents. I too am reading my copy of White Summer and would agree that it falls under the category of 'bloke-lit', but the good quality type. Makes you wonder what else Luke would have produced if he had more time. Do keep us all updated with how the publishing process goes! all the best from Catherine

  8. Good luck with that, Catharine.
    I think if you just keep going, Phil will get there. You`ve just got to be tenacious!