Press Release: 27th June 2018

And Other Stories and New Writing North are delighted to announce Amy Arnold, based in Windermere, as the winner of the inaugural £5,000 Northern Book Prize for her novel Slip of a Fish. Amy Arnold’s win was announced last night at the 2018 Northern Writers’ Awards ceremony in Newcastle.

The Northern Book Prize was founded in October 2017, to mark And Other Stories’ move to Sheffield and to celebrate the North of England’s wealth of literary talent. For this inaugural year, the Northern Book Prize has been awarded as part of the Northern Writers’ Awards, a programme set up by New Writing North, that, since its founding in 2000, has earned a reputation for discovering and supporting some of the most exciting writing talent in the region. Slip of a Fish will be published by And Other Stories in the UK and Europe in November 2018 and in the US and Canada in July 2019.

The Northern Book Prize 2018 judges commented: ‘A fearless test of empathy, a tender sounding of a mind long since overgrown, and a disturbingly sensual work with a prose that skitters, sinks, hooks, pulls, resists, and flips high in gorgeous blinding flashes, Slip of a Fish heralds the arrival of a stunning new voice in English fiction.’

Amy Arnold said: ‘I am overjoyed to have won the Northern Book Prize. Winning the award means that there are people out there who aren’t afraid to look at different types of work and acknowledge that they have a place in literature. It buys me time and gives credence to the idea that hard work and taking risks pays off. I feel very fortunate and I am so grateful for this opportunity.’

About the author:

Amy Arnold has tried her hand at everything from packing swede to lecturing in psychology and is an inveterate reader of mind-blowing books. Living in Cumbria, she is thrilled to call the north her home and can often be spotted running on the fells with her border collie.

About the book:

Slip of a Fish is an artful, allusive and quietly devastating portrait of motherhood, loss and love, in all its kaleidoscopic complexity.

Ash collects words, climbs trees and swims in a deserted lake with her beloved seven-year-old, Charlie. Bemused by everyday life, she has a rich and singular interior world. Over the course of a relentlessly hot summer, Charlie begins to pull away, and in a desperate attempt to reconnect with her daughter Ash does something unforgivable. As the gulf between them grows, Ash’s life begins to slip out of her hold.

Winner of the 2018 Northern Book Prize, Slip of a Fish is a joyously artful and quietly devastating portrait of motherhood, loss and love, in all its kaleidoscopic complexity.

2018 Judges for the Northern Book Prize:

  • Ian McMillan, writer and BBC broadcaster
  • Conor O’Callaghan, writer and lecturer in Creative Writing, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Tara Tobler, Editor, And Other Stories
  • Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive, New Writing North

For more information on our judges, click here.

In 2018, the Northern Book Prize forms part of New Writing North’s Northern Writers’ Awards. The Awards are supported by Northumbria University, Newcastle and Arts Council England and are open to writers based in the North of England.

Each year, the winner of the Northern Book Prize receives:

  • A prize and advance (currently worth £5,000)
  • Creative editorial support from And Other Stories.
  • A contract for the book’s worldwide publication, distribution and representation from And Other Stories.

And Other Stories seeks long-term sponsorship for the Northern Book Prize from autumn 2018, in order to grow the profile of the prize and increase its impact in the North of England and across the country.

Please contact And Other Stories’ publisher Stefan Tobler for a sponsorship pack: stefantobler@andotherstories.org.

For press enquiries contact: Catherine Taylor on catherine@andotherstories.org.

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