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Where are you writing from today?

Today I am not writing.  I have decided to take the day off to clean the windows.  That is to say I will be thinking of one particular character cleaning the windows and getting him into trouble.


What interests you about new writing in 2020?

I’m interested in what people will do about the low level hum of panic and how that will effect their writing. I’m hoping that we won’t see a rash of virus or pandemic stories.  It’s too soon for that by about ten years.


What are you hoping for in the submissions this year, and what are you looking for in an emerging writer?

I am hoping to see something from the gut, something visceral and yearning.  I’m always looking for a voice that brings me up short in any writer, young or old.

Why is it important that we support new voices, at this point in time in particular?

It’s important to support new voices because it’s hard to get published, because we need the energy, vitality and optimism that comes with your first novel or your first big win.  It’s easy to get jaded when you’ve been around for a while.


What are you reading at the moment and what do you like about it?

I’m reading Donal Ryan’s new novel in proof ’Strange Flowers’.  It’s horribly good.



Kit de Waal is a judge for the 2020 Young Writer of the Year Award.  The submission period for this year’s prize closes on Monday 22 June.  Enter now

Young Writer Award @YoungWriterYear

Follow us on twitter. The Young Writer of the Year Award is a prize of £10,000 for a writer under 35.

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