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Behind the Sentences with... with this year’s judge Diana Evans


Spotlight on this years judge Diana Evans

Our judge Diana Evans on what makes her return to the page, her writing failures and words of encouragement

Why do you write?

Because it’s what I’m best at. I’ve always felt the urgent need to describe and capture life in the world.

Where do you write?

In my study at home.

What do you love most about writing? What keeps you returning to the page?

I enjoy playing with language most of all, making sentences, the deep thinking of it. I like spending time with characters I find entertaining or relatable. Overall I like the quiet power of writing.

What is your biggest “failure”, in the world of writing? And did it lead to success?

I’d like to write more short stories but novels keep taking over with their all-consuming nature. I find short stories almost as difficult as novels to write; it’s just a difficulty more condensed in time.

What words of encouragement might you offer to other writers?

Eschew premature perfectionism, it will hold you back. Throw your soul at the page and trust in it.

What’s next in terms of your output? When can we expect it?

Another novel, when it’s ready.

And finally, what’s your favourite short story of all time and why?

My favourite short story anthology is My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekov to Munro. It’s a delicious book, lots of incredible stories in there. I’m afraid I couldn’t possibly pick just one. Too much greatness in the world.


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