Thursday, July 07, 2005

Opportunity taps

Susan Hill is a British writer who has had a large amount of success without ever quite becoming a household name. She is also a publisher.

On her main web site you can find a lengthy biography in which she describes her early success, later setbacks, and says much about her family life. However, I remember her chiefly for the stage play The Woman in Black, which was adapted from one of her books. This play opened in the West End in 1989, and, somewhat to my amazement, it is still running today. So that's a very nice little earner.

A few days ago the Guardian kindly provided Susan with space to write about her latest venture, which is to start publishing fiction. Sadly, not a lot of fiction. One book a year to begin with.

In the late 1990s Susan set up a publishing venture called Long Barn Books; this has so far concentrated on non-fiction. However, on the general principle that it is time to give some opportunity to a new writer, in the way that she once was given an opportunity, Susan has set up a sort of informal competition. Unpublished writers are invited to submit mss, and one will be chosen.

The selected book will be given a somewhat bigger push than is often the case with first novels, and overall the deal looks attractive. Full details can be found here.

Unfortunately, only those writers who are both UK citizens and living in the UK are eligible.


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