Portico Prize in The New Review

Anita Sethi has interviewed six shortlisted writers (including myself) for this year’s Portico Prize for the Observer New Review… with portrait photographs by Richard Saker (this one was taken in Mytholmroyd on a cold, blustery December afternoon)

‘Do writers in the north have to work harder to get published? Is there a northern aesthetic? We talk to the six authors shortlisted for the Portico prize – AKA the “Booker of the north”‘

Channelling the Spirit of the North

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile has made it onto this year’s Portico Prize for Literature shortlist, an award for writing that “best evokes the spirit of the North”. Other shortlisted titles include Saltwater by Jessica Andrews, Ironopolis by Glen James Brown, The Mating Habits of Stags by Ray Robinson, The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness by Graham Caveney, and Under the Rock: The Poetry of a Place by Benjamin Myers.

Here’s what the Bookseller had to say about it:

The shortlist of six was revealed on Monday (9th December). Six books were whittled down from a longlist selected by the Portico Prize’s newly formed Society of Readers and Writers. They were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by journalist and broadcaster Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads.

Savidge said: “This list defies the rumour that it’s grim up North. Yes, it can be gritty up North; yes, it can be gothic up North; but more than anything it’s glorious and great up North. These books celebrate the spirit of the people, the spirit of place and the wonderful diversity of the North…”