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Winning the Bradt competition: one year on

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I’ve been blogging over at my travel site:

Marie in the Independent on Sunday

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

If you find yourself flicking through the Independent on Sunday this weekend (10 April 2011), take a peek at my article in the travel section.

It’s about Malta and Gozo’s megalithic temples and is being published to launch the next Bradt / Independent on Sunday travel-writing competition, which I won (to my great disbelief) in 2010.

Although I haven’t travelled as much as usual lately, the competition has given me a kick up the bum to pursue my writing dreams a little harder.

I’ve started a blog (the currently sparse and finished editing my first book, The Birdwoman of Bangkok and Other Tales. In October I won the Telegraph’s Just Back travel-writing competition.

I’m also very busy with Good As Gold - something I’ll always be grateful for. 

I’ll post a link to the article on Sunday. Good luck to everyone who enters the Bradt competition this summer - it’s a great springboard for your travel writing and the people behind it are supportive and lovely.


It’s here: It’s changed in places from the article I submitted, which is entirely understandable: sub-editors know far better than I do about how to present a final piece. But so you can see it, I’ve published the original version on my blog:


Brit Writers’ Awards Unpublished 2010: the ceremony

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I am delighted to have been involved with the very first year of the Brit Writers’ Awards Unpublished, writing articles for the BWA website,  devising  creative-writing resources for schools and - in one of the hairiest, scariest weeks of my career - writing and editing the 68-page Write Now! event magazine in just five days.

(Thank you to the team at The Other Design Agency in Derby, who let me decamp to their office for a week and plague them with my obsessive attention to apostrophes!)

The inaugural awards ceremony took place on Thursday 15 July 2010 at Indig02 (The 02, London) and was hosted by the lovely Charlie Jordan and Tre Azam, who breathed life and sparkle into the script we’d drafted for them. Literary stars of the evening included Sir Terry Pratchett (pictured below, delivering his acceptance speech for the Published Writer of the Year award), while sponsors included The Reading Agency, Arts Council England and Faber Music.

This was all amazing. BWA was set up last year on a shoestring budget with the aim of shaking up the publishing industry (which can feel very inaccessible to outsiders), encouraging and inspiring people who might not normally have considered penning a story, poem or song. While there were many hurdles along the way (not least the 21,000 entries to read), the team did an amazing job in pulling together the glittering evening … and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes when overall winner Catherine Cooper heard that BWA had published her book (The Golden Acorn) in time for UK distribution this week!

I had a great time at the ceremony - and enjoyed the lovely company on my table, which included short story finalist Steven Tromans, Witchfinder author William Hussey and the team from the children’s division of Oxford University Press.

Now I’m happy to have got my BWA 2011 work well underway!

You can read more about the evening here.  

Sir Terry Pratchett, BWA 2010













[Image of Sir Terry Pratchett included with permission from Brit Writers.]

The Brit Writers’ Awards Unpublished 2010

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Brit Writers' Awards Unpublished 2010

Calling all fledgling writers! There are just a few more weeks to go until the Brit Writers’ Awards Unpublished 2010 deadline on Friday 26 February.

Have you written a brilliant short story, novel, poem or song that deserves to be shared with the world? The inaugural Brit Writers’ Awards offers £10,000 and a valuable literary platform to the best undiscovered writer in the UK. It aims to nurture a love for creative writing in people across the length and breadth of the UK, opening the door to what is often perceived as our ‘inaccessible’ publishing industry.

Good As Gold has been working with the Brit Writers team for the past nine months, helping them to create - among other things - resources for teachers and new writers. Here’s a sneak preview: a downloadable help sheet called Getting started: ideas and inspiration (PDF opens in a new window). 

For lots more resources and information about the Brit Writers’ Awards, visit

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