It’s almost upon us – the 7th International Dorothy Dunnett Day (IDDD) on Saturday 11th November 2017, when once again Dunnett Readers across the world will meet in homes, restaurants, pubs, parks, museums and other locations; and at 13.00 (1 pm) local time they will raise a glass to toast the Lady who started it all, and to absent friends.
Today’s the day! New editions of the Lymond Chronicles and King Hereafter will start becoming available in the UK and Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The US and Canada are subject to a different contract, and negotiations are ongoing. However, it looks as if the new paperback of King Hereafter will be available in Canada from 24 October. You will hopefully see some publicity over the next few weeks, but this is a re-issue so it is not a big bang publication – more a slow burn over a year or so. So our job is to sing Dorothy’s praises and to make people, including bookshops, aware of just how good her books are!
The Historical Writers’ Association and the Dorothy Dunnett Society are pleased to announce the winner and two highly commended entries to the inaugural HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition 2017. We look forward to reading the winning story in December’s Whispering Gallery!
A Poppy Against the Sky – Annie Whitehead
End of the Rope – Majella Cullinane
Us girls – Sarah Evans
Guilty until Proven Innocent – Daphne Breen
Haint Blue – Helen Cairns
The Moresco – Bella D’Arcy Reed
Blind, blind – Allan Drew
Signor Pietro’s Pigeon – Elizabeth Hopkinson
White Feather Girl – Avril Joy
The Damson Orchard – Liz Kershaw
Steer the Dark Skies Blue – Niamh MacCabe
Finish the Course – Anna Mazzola
All I Have Done Is Survive – Richard Smyth
Imogen Robertson, chair of the Judging panel, said:
“I was astonished and delighted by the range and quality of the stories we received. It was extremely difficult to pick our winners from such a strong field and I was deeply impressed by the fresh and engaging voices, superb writing and story-telling skills on display. I’m sure Dorothy Dunnett would have enjoyed them thoroughly and I am very pleased to see so many excellent writers at work on historical fiction.”
Pamela Gordon, Judge, said:
“The response to the competition was splendid and the standard of entries very high. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to read the stories and take part in the selection of the worthy winners. The Dorothy Dunnett Society is happy that republication of her historical novels has created the occasion also to celebrate the work of contemporary writers of historical fiction.”
Norah Perkins, Judge, said:
“It has been a great honour to read the stories entered for the inaugural Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Prize – and very hard to whittle them down to a shortlist, though we were unanimous in our choice of winner. It is a vibrant crop of stories, from around the world and from ancient times to recent history, and I’m sure Dorothy would have been delighted to see so many brilliant writers carrying on in her footsteps.”
The winning author and the two highly Commended authors have been invited to receive their awards at the HWA Award Ceremony on the 7th November 2017 in London. Hosted by historian, novelist and broadcaster Kate Williams, this award ceremony will also see the announcement of the winners of the 2017 HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown, HWA Non Fiction Crown and the HWA Debut Crown.
Whispering Gallery 136 is now dropping through Dorothy Dunnett Society members’ letter boxes. This very special edition marks the UK republication of The Lymond Chronicles and King Hereafter and is packed with articles ranging from “On Teaching Dunnett” to “42 Days of Lymond Hell”. (Let’s hope there’s no connection!)
To receive your copy, find out more about joining the Dorothy Dunnett Society at http://dunnettcentral.org/join
The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2017, worth £1000, is offered by the Dorothy Dunnett Society (Scottish Charity SC030649 SCIO) in pursuit of its constitutional aim:
“To advance the education of the public concerning the history, politics, culture and religion of the 11th, 15th and 16th centuries by promoting the study of and research into such subjects particularly as they relate to the works of Dorothy Dunnett and to disseminate to the public the results of such research.”
The Prize is for an essay of up to 5000 words (normally 3000-4000). Entries will be accepted from students registered on a PhD programme at any recognised higher education institution. The competition is open to medievalists, Byzantinists and Ottomanists.
The novels of Scottish writer Dorothy Dunnett (1923-2001) are supported by extensive geographical and historical research and have wide-ranging settings, including (using present-day names) Scotland, France, England, Belgium, Italy, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Iceland, Algeria, Norway, Gambia and Mali (including Timbuktu). Her work explores many issues of political, military and cultural/social history.
The author set her fictional characters within the actual events and among the real people of the times. Her novels also explore more general themes including: the development of trade; banking; exploration and discovery; the role of women; the rise of industries such as printing and dyeing; diplomacy and spying; social mobility; transport and travel; domestic life; contemporary literature, music, art and artists; the role of religion and religious communities; conflict and war.
Essays may address any aspect of current historical research that meets the Society’s aims and/or falls within the thematic guidelines or other relevant topics and is contained, broadly, within the time periods of the novels.
We are seeking submissions that will reflect Dorothy Dunnett’s skill in bringing alive the events and people of her chosen periods. While being based on the writer’s PhD work, essays should be written for a well-informed general reader rather than a specialist academic audience. The panel will be looking for involving and readable essays which bring the subject matter to life. The maximum number of words is 5000 but writers should remember that non-academic readers welcome ‘short and pithy’!
To find out more and how to apply, visit the University of Edinburgh School of History, Classics and Archaeology.