Last night was the second annual award ceremony for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, a new literary prize intended to celebrate the best of the UK’s independent publishers. Despite a strong shortlist, the prize went to Influx Press and Eley Williams for her debut collection of stories, Attrib. This success will come as no surprise to first- and second-year Creative and Professional Writing students who had the benefit of being taught by Eley last semester. Eley taught the second year Writing London module, and contributed to the first year Voices in Contemporary Fiction.
Attrib. has been described as “acrobatic, edge-of-your-seat fiction” (The Telegraph) and “an emotionally delicate and tenderly introspective collection” (The New Statesman).
We also had the pleasure of welcoming Eley to our New Writing from Twickenham reading that took place at The Exchange last autumn as part of the Richmond Literature Festival. There she read two of the stories from this marvellous collection: ‘Alight at the Next’ and ‘Smote’. No one who has heard her read can doubt that she is not only one of the most exciting new voices in British writing, but that she is wonderful performer to boot.
So congrats again to Eley, and to the pioneering Influx Press. Long may they write, and publish, and here’s hoping it’s not too long before we have Eley back at St Mary’s.