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  • Rebecca F. John

The Dinner

So, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award – what an experience!

On Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd April, there were readings of the six shortlisted stories at Foyles, organised by the wonderful team at WordTheatre. The readings were amazing! Funny, heart-breaking, sensitive, bold. My own story, The Glove Maker’s Numbers, was read by Lesley Nichol – Mrs Patmore, of course, from Downton Abbey – and I can’t thank her enough for her performance. I did well not to cry as Lesley delivered Christina’s final thoughts.

On Friday 24th, the writers (myself very much the newbie amongst them), actors and guests gathered at Stationer’s Hall to hear the winner announced. The prize – as I had predicted – went deservedly to Yiyun Li, and I feel confident in saying that every writer present was very happy for her.

It has been an overwhelming few days, during which I have met so many beautiful, talented and kind people that really I just wanted to say thank you to them all. The writers – Yiyun Li, Elizabeth McCracken, Paula Morris, Scott O’Connor and Madeleine Thien – who each made me feel comfortable, and welcome, and as though I thoroughly deserved to be shortlisted alongside them; the staff at all the events, who were so interested in and so happy to help a clueless young writer; and my friends, old and new, who have flooded me with good wishes and the most incredible support. I hope that some of them, at least, read this post. I hope that the others understand how very grateful I am.

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