We are pleased to announce that the winner of the £10,000 RSL Christopher Bland Prize 2020 is Michele Kirsch with her memoir Clean (Short Books). The Prize is awarded to a debut fiction or non-fiction writer first published aged 50 or over and was first presented last year.
The 2020 judges are Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Chair), Sara Collins and Andrew Lycett.
I am delighted and honored to win this year’s RSL Christopher Bland prize. The fact that this award is specifically for first books by authors over 50, is proof that those of us who get algorithm pop up adverts for potions that diminish the physical signs of decrepitude , still have something to say.
Clean could not have been written had I not lived through the experience. When you are older you are more comfortable with your own writing voice, and for me, that meant feeling OK about tackling a very serious and sometimes tragic subject matter with some levity.
Sir Christopher said he would have told his teenage self to ” forget all that other stuff” about working in business , which suggested that he would have started his creative life earlier if he could have done.But I think the seed and the ideas were always there, as they were, eventually for me. Indeed, if I had forgotten about all the other stuff, my book would have been a very slim volume. –Michele Kirsch
The £10,000 Christopher Bland Prize is to debut novelists or popular non-fiction writers over 50.