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The Dan Hemingway prize book launch

The book, The Dan Hemingway Prize Winners 1992-2003, Doris Lumsden’s Heart-Shaped Bed and Other Stories, has been launched in the presence of the Hemingway family.

The event, which took place on Friday 29 October, was hosted by the School of English and also featured readings from entries to the School’s Hallowe’en Spooky Story competition.

Dan Hemingway was an undergraduate at St Andrews with ambition to be a writer. Tragically killed in a road accident on Christmas Day 1991 after just one term reading Economics and Philosophy, his writing career was cut short at the age of 19. The annual prize (£300 for the best, original short story submitted by an undergraduate student at the University) was established in his memory as an encouragement to other young, promising writers. Each year’s entries are judged by a distinguished panel of professional writers. Over the years, the panel has included novelists, short story writers and poets such as Carl MacDougall, Alice Thompson, Ron Butlin, Kathleen Jamie and A. L. Kennedy, as well as full-time members of the School of English including John Burnside, Robert Crawford, Douglas Dunn, Michael Herbert, Gill Plain and Susan Sellers.

The 12 prize-winning stories in the collection cover themes from the innocence of childhood to the pain of death and divorce. Some look back in history, others look forward to unknown futures. Their diverse settings reflect the authors’ origins in Canada, the USA, Scotland, Ireland and England. The one thing in common is that all were written by undergraduates at St Andrews, mostly in their early twenties at the time. Some are currently post- graduates at various universities, others are enjoying careers in acting, teaching, veterinary medicine, the law, the army and the Church, but all are still writing.

All profits from the book (The Blake Project, 2004, ISBN 0- 9547857-1-1), available from local bookshops priced £12.50, will go to the Dan Hemingway Prize Charitable Trust. The Trust funds the St Andrews prize and also the annual Dan Hemingway Prize for Creativity for students at the Cherwell School, Oxford.

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