News | Friday, 18th October 2019
Writing tutor’s debut novel wins Guardian fiction competition
Lara Williams' 'Supper Club' awarded Not The Booker prize
A creative writing tutor’s “hilariously funny and deeply moving” debut novel has won a newspaper award that champions new authors.
Organisers hailed the “superb debut novel from a writer bursting with talent” who “has a great deal to say about our common humanity and the world we live in.”
Not The Booker prize is an annual competition organised by the Guardian Books blog and its readers.
Released in July, Supper Club was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, whose review praised Williams’ “exquisite patience with the emerging texture of emotion”. The novel follows Roberta, who sets up the Supper Club, “a secret society for hungry women. Women who are sick of bad men and bad sex, of hinted expectations to talk less, take less, be less. So they gather after dark and feast until they are sick. They drink and dance and roar. And, month by month, their bodies expand.”
Williams said: “It was an excellent surprise to win the Not The Booker prize; I'm really delighted. The Manchester Writing School was where I drafted my first book, and I was fortunate to work with some exceptionally talented and very supportive tutors.”
It was an excellent surprise to win the Not The Booker prize; I'm really delighted. The Manchester Writing School was where I drafted my first book, and I was fortunate to work with some exceptionally talented and very supportive tutors.
Williams is also the author of short story collection Treats, which was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Edinburgh First Book Award and the Saboteur Awards and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She will be on the judging panel for the 2019 Manchester Writing Competition, organised by the Writing School.
Nicholas Royle, Reader in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan, and Williams’ tutor while she studied for an MA, said: “I fondly imagined when I read Lara's short stories that she wrote for her MA, which would later form part of her debut collection, that I would one day associate her name with the words "Booker" and "Prize". It turns out I was right. Her talent was obvious even at that early stage.”
Dr Jess Edwards, Head of English at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “The Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan has produced over ninety published graduates – and those are just the ones we’ve managed to keep track of.
“Lara Williams, who has remained part of the Writing School community as a Creative Writing Tutor and judge of our Manchester Writing Competition Fiction Prize, is the latest of a growing number to achieve really significant recognition and success.”