And the winner is…

…not me – hehe! The results of the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2022 were announced yesterday and, alas, there were no awards for yours truly. But I’m happy anyway – it has been such a positive experience to be longlisted, and then shortlisted, and the amazing and generous Prize Plus programme of support that the SI Leeds team will be providing to all shortlisted writers over the coming year means that this is far from the end of the road.

Of course, massive congratulations go to the first prize winner Suad Kamardeen, and runners up Latoyah Innerarity and Laura Fish, who also won the Readers’ Choice Award, on their achievements. And shout-outs also go to my fellow shortlistees Arianne Maki and Oluwaseun Oluwatosin Akinsiku on theirs. It truly is an honour to join the SI Leeds Literary Prize family with all of them. You can find out more about them and their novels here.

The recording of the Shortlist Showcase held on 11th October, which I talked about in my previous blog, is also available on the same link. The showcase was a celebratory evening filled with absorbing readings, insightful discussions, and joyful audience interaction. Many thanks again to Fiona Goh and the team at SI Leeds Literary Prize, Farhana Shaikh at The Asian Writer (host of the showcase event), and Rosie Dastgir (chair of the showcase) for organising such a lovely event.

So, what happens next? Well, I used to dread public readings, but I am warming up to them now and had lots of fun doing the showcase reading, so I have made a note-to-self to volunteer for them more often. I also want to keep up the momentum with When You’re Smiling, so I will be dusting off the synopsis and polishing up the pitch in readiness for another round of submissions. And I would like to give something back to the writing community as thanks for all the support given to me over the last few years, so I will be planning something on that front.

In other words, watch this space… 😊

Peace and blessings,


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