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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Cumbrian Sarah first author to win Portico Prize for Literature twice

A celebrated author has added another award to her collection. Sarah Hall has been named the 2012 winner of the north’s leading book award, the Portico Prize for Literature, for her short story collection The Beautiful Indifference.

Sarah Hall photo
Sarah Hall

The writer and creative writing tutor, who was born near Penrith, is no stranger to the prize, taking home the last biennial award in 2010 for her novel How To Paint A Dead Man. She is the first author to have done the Portico double.

She received a cheque for £10,000 at a gala awards dinner at Manchester Town Hall, attended by 300, including shortlisted writers Dame Joan Bakewell and Val McDermid.

Sarah, who beat a shortlist of 13, said: “I’m delighted to have won the prize for the second time.

“The fiction shortlist was incredibly strong this year and I’m delighted that the judges chose a collection of stories as it means the form itself is valued and competitive.

“The award is one of the most generous and exciting in the UK, and reveals the incredible richness and diversity of writing in the north.

“It’s a privilege to continue my association with the Portico Library.”

The Portico Prize for Literature is awarded biennially to two works – one fiction and one non fiction – that are based wholly, or largely in the north of England. It has been running since 1985 and is awarded by the Portico Library, an independent Georgian library based in Manchester.

Other shortlisted Cumbrian writers included Chris Wadsworth for The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Drawing and Keith Richardson for Jack’s Yak.

The Beautiful Indifference is a series of seven short stories exploring erotic and sometimes violent relationships between men and women, from the lowlands of Cumbria to London.

As well as being a multi-award winning author, Sarah is an honorary fellow of Aberystwyth University and a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. She was a member of Art Council England, North West 2008-2009 and regularly tutors for the Faber Academy, the Arvon Foundation. She has taught creative writing in a variety of establishments in the UK and abroad.

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