Tuesday, 18 November 2008


'RORY' (BILL GOLDING) AND JUDGE - pic from the Wanderly Wagon website

My story 'The Wind Across the Grass' will be repeated on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday the 23rd November at 7.45pm. This story won the 2002 Francis MacManus Award for me and it was partly inspired by an anecdote of my Da's. I nicked the title from a line in Nuala Ó Faoláin's novel My Dream of You (about which she was very gracious). I went on to use it as the title story for my first collection, The Wind Across the Grass.

Bill Golding is the actor who read my story. Irish people of my generation will remember Bill as the dashing Rory in Wanderly Wagon. I think every young wan in Ireland fancied Rory - that posh accent! The fringed suede jacket! Swoon! I met him after he had voiced the story and he is a total gentleman and still rather dashing!

Winning was one of the nicest things that's ever happened to me in my literary career. One doesn't enter competitions hoping not to win, so I can't claim it was 'totally unexpected' to win, but it was a huge and welcome surprise. I didn't live off my writing earnings at the time (I worked in the Western Writers' Centre then), so I spent the money (€3000!!!) on: 1) a family holiday to Portugal (it was fab); 2) a red leather Filofax; and 3) a china cabinet to house the great hunk of crystal which was part of the prize. I like awards that give a memento as well as cash, I must say; I also like ones that are named after writers. Ah, happy memories!

For those outside Ireland there is info here about how to listen to RTÉ Radio 1 online. Sunday's schedule is not posted yet so check back in the day before or on Sunday here. I won't hear it myself as I shall be in Paris. Have I mentioned that already?!


Tania Hershman said...

Umm, yes, you might have mentioned Paris ever so quietly...!
I do hope I manage to listen to your story, will try my best, I will be traveling from France to England on Monday, will it be online for a few days? Will you link to it from your own website? Have a great trip - I got two croissants yesterday, VERY happy!

BarbaraS said...

Now there's a great incentive to enter a competition: the thoughts of having enough cash to really do something with :)

Must listen out for your story!

Women Rule Writer said...

Tania - tbh, I haven't a clue if it'll be online for long. My friend Ger alerted me to the fact it would be on. No one had told me before that! (It may have been flagged in the RTÉ Guide tv mag, but I don't know...I rarely buy it.)
Croissants - yum. French croissants - even yummer! Glad you got your fix.

Barbara - Cash is my one and only incentive these days. Well, that and a bit of profile raising, I suppose. The MacManus is a generous prize. But so is the Mitchelstown, which I must remind y'all about real soon. Closing date: 12th December.