I was thrilled last August 2017, when I received an email from the American writer, Lorian Hemingway, telling me that I'd won the American Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition 2017. My story, Welcome to Legoland, had been picked from over 600 international entries and to hear this was such a wonderful boost. As well as winning the prize, an additional bonus was that Welcome to Legoland would be published in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. Cutthroat is an internationally recognised literary journal published in the USA: its Editor-in-Chief is Pamela Uschuk. The Spring 2018 issue is now out - and after winging its way across the Atlantic (thank you, Lorian, for taking the time and trouble) - I have received several copies and here it is!
Welcome to Legoland is a story dear to my heart, because it is set in Liverpool in the 1970s, the place and time where I grew up. I wanted to capture the raw industrial mood of the city, as it was then, contrasted with the mature, mellow environs of Liverpool University, where my father taught. I hope I've succeeded. Narrated by a university student about the stranger teenage boy she meets on the avant-garde Southgate Housing Estate in Runcorn New Town, the story explores grief and architecture and a brief encounter between two lost individuals. It was created as a side-step from the novel I'm completing, which is also set in Liverpool. As writers, to take a breather, we're often encouraged to meet our characters in a different place, outside the timeline of the novel, and this is what I did one day. Adrian, the stranger, was the result.
So, a big thank you both to Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, and to Lorian Hemingway, who is such a generous and encouraging author, for giving my story a chance to meet the world. And if you get to read Welcome to Legoland - I hope you enjoy it.