May 4, 2012, by Thomas Legendre
Alison Moore and Megan Taylor: From First Draft to Publication
Alison Moore began the session by discussing how she began her career with short stories published in various magazines and anthologies, including Best British Short Stories 2011, as well as a story collection, A Small Window, which has been shortlisted for this year’s Scott Prize. She also described the challenges of developing and expanding early drafts of her fiction, the steps she took to find a publisher, and the necessity of promoting one’s work. She concluded by reading the opening section of her novel, The Lighthouse, which will be published this autumn by Salt.
Megan Taylor continued the session with a reading from the opening section of her latest novel, The Lives of Ghosts. Afterward she discussed how her fiction grows from images that have occurred to her, serving as unanswered questions that drive the narrative. She also outlined the benefits of working with independent publishers such as Flame Books, who released her first novel, How We Were Lost, after it placed second in the Yeovil Prize, and Weathervane Press, who published her more recent works, The Dawning and The Lives of Ghosts.
Both authors closed the session by answering questions from the audience about their writing process and the benefits of working within a community of other authors.
Update: 31 July 2012
Many congratulations to Alison Moore, whose novel The Lighthouse has been longlisted for this year’s Man Booker prize. During her visit in May she discussed the benefits of working with a small independent publisher in a marketplace dominated by media conglomerates. This prestigious listing gives her work some well-deserved attention. Best of luck to Alison for the short list!
Update: 14 September 2012
Another round of congratulations to Alison Moore for making the Man Booker Prize shortlist (http://themanbookerprize.com/news/2012-shortlist-announced). The Lighthouse, which this year’s judges have noted for ‘the shock and pleasure that comes when a fully-fledged work of fiction arrives unexpectedly from a new author’, is in contention with works by Will Self and Hilary Mantel. We’ll be sending our best wishes – and keeping our fingers crossed – for the award ceremony on 16 October.