the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Newsflash: competition longlist

on September 17, 2021

For those of you who aren’t active on social media, I’d like to share the news that my work-in-progess has been longlisted in the Novel London Literary Award. This competition invites international submissions for complete works of fiction, which may be unpublished, self published or newly published. As my manuscript is up against published novels I don’t expect it will get any further in the competition but it’s good to see my details on the publicity poster. Well done to all longlistees.

I’m continuing to work on the manuscript following feedback from beta readers. I’ve also changed the title from Little Swot to Extra Lessons which better reflects the novel. Here’s the draft blurb:

Extra Lessons: the experiences of two women, separated by thirty years, uncovers home truths.

West Country, 1978. School is the last place sixteen-year-old Carolyn wants to be. Her older sister gained a place at Oxford and staff can’t understand why Carolyn’s feigning difficulties when exams are approaching. Help arrives in the form of a young probationary teacher who recognises Carolyn’s problems and provides special lessons. This gains him nothing but derision from colleagues but he’s opened Carolyn’s eyes to a new sort of future. She plans to escape from the suffocating small town of Belmont, and sets about finding someone to join her.  

Three decades later, mature career woman Stephanie is made redundant from the West Country Echo. Her life spirals until Doug, her former boss, suggests she make a podcast. There’s only one story worth pursuing and she plunges in, determined to find leads relating to the unsolved case of Carolyn’s disappearance. The shambolic police investigation came to nothing but rumours circulate that a man was involved.

Stephanie connects with Carolyn’s family and friends to build a picture of what might have happened the day she walked out of her maths examination and never returned home. Early podcast episodes draw a large audience, and when an unexpected source comes forward, the finger pointing gains momentum. 

I’d love to know what you think of this novel, so do leave a comment. If you’d like to follow my development as a writer, This Much Huxley Knows, my most recently published contemporary novel is available here

5 responses to “Newsflash: competition longlist

  1. jim bates says:

    Oh, wow, does this ever sound fascinating, Gail! I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations on making the the Long List, too, by the way. Much deserved 🙂

  2. Congratulations, Gail!

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