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Lucy Wood and her novel 'Weathering'

Creative Writing alumna wins Betty Trask Award for her novel

Lucy Wood, author and Creative Writing alumna of the University of Exeter, has won a Betty Trask award worth £5,000 for her first novel, Weathering. The Betty Trask Awards are given to young authors for a first novel of outstanding literary merit. She was announced as a winner at the Society of Authors annual Authors' Awards on Tuesday 21 June.

Betty Trask left a bequest to the Society of Authors in 1983 to fund prizes for first novels written by authors under the age of 35 in a traditional or romantic style. The judges this year were Simon Brett, Joanne Harris and Michèle Roberts. Roberts described Weathering as an “emotionally mature consideration of generational love loss and change”. 

For her collection of short stories based on Cornish Folklore, Diving Belles, Wood received the Holyer an Gof Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. She was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas prize, shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and was a runner-up in the BBC National Short Story Award.  She was also shortlisted for the £10,000 Betty Trask prize this year for Weathering. 

Wood said, “I'm delighted to have received a Betty Trask Award - it's an honour to have been chosen for this prestigious award alongside such a talented and interesting group of authors. I had a great time studying for my BA and MA at Exeter, and I'm really grateful to the staff of the Creative Writing department for helping me to develop my writing and giving me the confidence to pursue it.”

Wood has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the Department of English in the College of Humanities and she was taught by University of Exeter staff, Professor Andy Brown and Dr Sam North. North commented on Wood’s success, “Lucy Wood was a first class student here at Exeter and exhibited the intelligence, sensitivity and the inner steel required to write prose fiction in the long form. It was thrilling to see her MA dissertation develop into a first book that won the Somerset Maugham Award, and to see that career grow into a a novel, and more awards follow, fills the creative writing team here at Exeter with pride in her achievements.”

Wood grew up in Cornwall and has recently moved back. Find out more about her publications at Bloomsbury.

Date: 6 July 2016

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