Catherine Darwen awarded the 2020 Fiction Prize

Catherine Darwen is the winner of our Black Pear Press Prize for Fiction 2020, joining previous winners Micheal Wheatley 2018 and Olivia Camozzi-Jones 2019. Cath’s novella will be will be edited by the Black Pear Press team of editors, including Polly Stretton, Tony Judge and Rod Griffiths, and launched at our Hive Library in 2021.

Cath Darwen said about winning the prize, “When I wrote my piece for the dissertation the last thing on my mind was getting picked for this prize. Instead I was buried in research and lost in feminist theory. Needless to say this is a wonderful surprise! Being around many other creative students helped to make this fictional piece the best it could be, and to say that it got picked above the other wonderful work is humbling. Congratulations to everyone and I’m honoured to see this project to completion.”

Catherine Darwen

Dr Antony Judge, editor of Black Pear Press, wrote that it was, “A well researched piece with a large cast of real and fictional characters from a fascinating period of French history.” Editor Polly Stretton added, “It progresses at an interesting and engaging pace…and the senses are used well.” Finally, the third editor Prof Rod Griffiths noted, ” This keeps its historical style going well, ” and that there was a good market for fiction set in this time period.

Polly Stretton

Lecturer Ruth Stacey writes that, ” Supervising Cath’s final project I was able to see the amount of research and revision that was put into it and the passion Cath had for her subject. Cath has been an imaginative student from the first day I met her, which allows her to come up with vibrant plot lines and vividly well-realised characters. I am delighted that Cath has been selected for the prize and imagine this is the start of her career as a novelist. I am looking forward to reading the finished novella and attending the launch next year!”

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