Saturday, September 12, 2015

Local Author Scoops UK Award

TOP local writer Bryony Rheam will this week collect her prize in the United Kingdom after recently winning the “Write Your Own Christie” competition when her contribution to a collaborative book project was selected by the judges.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
The competition involved writers from around the world writing a collaborative novel, starting with the opening of Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced.
Director of ’amabooks Publishers Brian Jones said each month, writers were asked to submit the next chapter of the story.
“The judges then selected the winner for that particular month, and the competition, and the novel, and then evolved over a nine-month period. Bryony was runner-up for Chapter 7 and winner for Chapter 8,” he said.
Jones said the judges noted that Rheam’s winning entry was “a confident chapter with a terrific ending”.
Bryony Rheam
Rheam’s prize is one night’s accommodation at the Grand Hotel in Torquay in Southern England, where Agatha Christie spent her honeymoon with her first husband, Archibald Christie.
“That evening, there will be a dinner at her house, Greenway, near Torquay, also attended by the other prize-winners. Before the dinner, there will be a tour of the house, which is now a National Trust property,” said Jones.
“At the dinner will also be Christie’s grandson Matthew Pritchard and her British and American publishers at Harper Collins.”
Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and this year is the 125th anniversary of her birth and there is a special celebration in Torquay where the annual Agatha Christie Festival is held. She is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling novelist of all time, and is claimed to come third in the rankings of the world’s most widely published books, behind only Shakespeare and the Bible.
Rheam said going to the awards dinner was a great honour for her.
“Going to the dinner is a great honour for me, not just as a writer, but as a fan of Agatha Christie. I have always loved her books and admire her great intelligence and ability to outwit the reader every time,” she said.
Several references to Agatha Christie occur in Rheam’s award-winning novel This September Sun.
Rheam has just finished her second novel All Come to Dust, which is a murder mystery, and inspired by the work of Agatha Christie.
Meanwhile, Rheam will attend the Africa Utopia Festival at London’s Southbank Centre to help celebrate the arts and culture of Africa alongside fellow artistes Baaba Maal, Spoek Mathambo, Tony Allen, Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, Orchestra Baobab and Kassé Diabaté.
On September 13, Rheam will participate in a discussion about how pulp and genre fiction – romance, sci-fi, horror, crime, erotica, utopia and historical – is changing the narrative of African fiction.
Fellow Zimbabwean writer Tendai Huchu – whose second novel The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician – has recently been published by ’amaBooks and Parthian Books in the United Kingdom, will take part in a discussion session about African male identity.

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