1 October 2004
To the launch of the Andrea Badenoch fiction award tonight, down at the Lit & Phil. Andrea was a fine crime writer (and the only irritant this evening was that people kept saying Ď...but she was a literary writer tooí, as though the two genres were mutually exclusive except in a few rare cases - grrr...) and she died too young and we miss her dreadfully, but the award is a good thing. For women writers over the age of forty-two, which was her own age when she sold her first novel; I do think thatís neat. And the award is serious money, enough to make a difference to a writerís life; and some of it is coming from funding bodies, but the bulk is actually coming from us, her family and friends and fellow writers, and that I think is fabulous. Tonight we had food and wine and champagne and toasts and readings, and she would have loved it; and I got to carry my hat around (being the only hatted person in the room) to solicit yet more contributions, and I havenít gone so long hatless in public for decades, but it was worth it to raise another three-figure sum, and largely from people who had contributed already. It occurs to me that if my ghost-story gigs come off, we could pass a hat round there too for Andrea (esp as the gigs will be free). After Chaz the impresario comes Chaz the fund-raiser: oh, itís all so unlikely...
© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.