Where are you writing from today?
From Leamington Spa in the UK.
What excites you about judging the 2021 Sunday Times / Charlotte Aitken Trust Young Writer of the Year Award?
The sheer breadth and variety of styles in our submissions. The prize attracts the best new talent and it’s always exciting to have a part in launching or further establishing literary careers.
What interests you about new writing in 2021?
Seeing the latest responses to current thematic preoccupations while also witnessing the evolution of traditional forms.
What are you hoping for in the submissions this year, and what are you looking for in an emerging writer?
I am hoping for originality with purpose.
Why is it important that we support new voices, at this point in time in particular?
I think the encouragement of recognition is powerful in a profession that can be rather lonely at times. In a post-pandemic world, it’s perhaps even more important to provide serious platforms that can launch new talent and connect writers to each other and the wider industry.
What are you reading at the moment and what do you like about it?
I have just finished Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson. I enjoyed its structural boldness and commitment to opening up the stylistic possibilities of how we write about trauma – all of this while a strong and clear voice carried its deeply moving plot.
Gonzalo C. Garcia is a Chilean writer and Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at the Warwick Writing Programme. His first novel, We Are The End, launched in October 2017 with Galley Beggar Press and was nominated for the Edinburgh Festival First Novel Award 2017. He was also shortlisted for the 2021 Bristol Short Story Prize. He is currently working on his second book and teaching creative writing.