Fifth winner of the prestigious Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize Announced

14 May 2015

Lucy Cavendish College, part of the University of Cambridge and the only women’s college in the country for students aged 21 or over, has named the 2015 winner of its prestigious Fiction Prize as Emily Midorikawa, with her novel: A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing.

The annual Fiction Prize provides a unique opportunity for unpublished female authors to launch their literary careers. Now in its fifth year the Prize has developed a formidable reputationEmily Midorikawa for attracting first-class writing talent.

The 2015 winner, Emily Midorikawa, was announced at a special dinner on 14 May, attended by all shortlisted authors as well as the judges, agents and guests.

Emily’s winning novel, A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing tells the tale of Anna Layne, a young women drawn into the dark, hidden corners of Osaka following the disappearance of her friend Loll, an enigmatic Western nightclub hostess.

Emily is a graduate of the UEA’s creative writing MA, and teaches at City University and New York University’s London campus. She also runs SomethingRhymed.com a project that explores friendships between famous female authors, with fellow-writer Emma Claire Sweeney. Emily has previously been published in, amongst others, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent on Sunday, The Times, Aesthetica and Mslexia. Her memoir The Memory Album appears in Tangled Roots, an Arts Council-sponsored collection that celebrates the stories of mixed-race families. Find out more about Emily at: www.emilymidorikawa.com

The 2015 shortlist showcased a very high standard of writing talent. Alongside Emily the 2015 shortlist included Tracy Kuhn with After Dark, Amy Spencer with London Clay, Sonia Velton with Buttermilk Alley and Rebecca Welshman with Violet and Crimson. Find out more about the shortlisted novelists.

The judges faced a very difficult task but were unanimous in their final decision. The judges were Sophie Hannah – bestselling crime author, Adele Geras – author of over 90 titles, Allison Pearson – journalist and author, and Nelle Andrew – publishing agent at Peter Fraser Dunlop.

Janet Todd, President of Lucy Cavendish College and well-respected author of many books on women authors, reflects on the Prize: “The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize has been a beacon that attracted refreshing new literary voices.  It has offered unpublished women writers the opportunity to blossom spectacularly.”

The future looks very promising for the shortlisted authors. Catherine Chantner, the 2013 winner, is now published by Canongate, with her novel The Well. The 2013 shortlist also included Karen Ross now published by Ebury Press with Mother of the Year, Kathryn Simmonds, published by Seren Publishing with Love and Fallout and Alex Hourston, signed by Faber. Earlier success stories include Vicki Jarrett’s 2011 entry Nothing is Heavy published by Linen Press, and Sophia Tobin, whose 2011 entry, The Silversmith's Wife, published as part of a two-book deal with Simon and Schuster.

                                                                             - ENDS -

Notes to editors:                            About Lucy Cavendish College

Lucy Cavendish is the only women's college in Europe exclusively for students aged 21 or over, and a unique part of the University of Cambridge. Its undergraduate and postgraduate students come from over sixty countries, and a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Many have changed careers or overcome significant challenges in order to reach University. The College is particularly strong in Medicine, Law, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, the Social Sciences and English. 2015 marks the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of Lucy Cavendish College in 1965

Contact information:

Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge – Jeanette Ariano, Communications & Marketing Manager, 01223 768426 ja530@cam.ac.uk



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