Suffolk author wins mentoring prize

EAST Anglia's coastline 200 years from now forms the backdrop for a new book by a Suffolk novelist chosen to receive mentoring from top writers.Elizabeth Ferretti, of Felixstowe, is one of ten writers from across the region chosen to take part in the fourth annual Escalator Literature scheme.

EAST Anglia's coastline 200 years from now forms the backdrop for a new book by a Suffolk novelist chosen to receive mentoring from top writers.

Elizabeth Ferretti, of Felixstowe, is one of ten writers from across the region chosen to take part in the fourth annual Escalator Literature scheme.

The project aims to find and nurture the best new writing talent in the region and Ms Ferretti was chosen for her work Anglian Archipelago.

“The novel is set along the East Anglian coast 200 hundred years into the future, so you could say that without this unique landscape my book could not exist,” she said.

“The estuaries and coastline of Suffolk coast are a defining part of who I am and a huge influence on the novel.

“The lives of the people I describe in my book are ruled by the tides, the salt marshes, and shingle shoreline, just as I was, as a child growing up on the estuaries and mudflats of this atmospheric county.”

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Having been chosen for the scheme, the writers will have one-to-one creative mentoring from one of the selection panel, which comprises well-respected and established writers including novelist Michelle Spring, and Katherine McMahon, author of The Alchemist's Daughter.

They will also give help to bid for Arts Council England grants for the Arts scheme and take part in a series of career development workshops and networking events.

“Getting published is and always has been difficult, particularly for emerging writers. Escalator will give me the access to the mentors, critical feedback and publishing professionals that I will need in order to have as good a chance as I can of getting my work seen by publishers,” said Ms Ferretti.

“If successful, the Arts Council grant will give me the financial freedom to sit and write. It doesn't get much better than that.”

Chris Gribble, chief executive of Escalator manages the New Writing Partnership, said the scheme had this year been opened up to authors with track records who wanted to step out of their comfort zones and make a change in their writing careers.