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Regional journalist’s novel shortlisted for award

A new novel penned by an ex-regional newspaper journalist has just been nominated for the 2014 eFestival Awards.

Song of the Sea God, written by former Gloucester Citizen reporter and news editor Chris Hill, has been shortlisted in the Best Literary Fiction category of the 2014 eFestival of Words Virtual Book Fair.

Nominees are voted for by authors, publishers, editors and book reviewers and volunteers will now begin the process of narrowing down each category to between five to seven finalists, to be announced on 1 July.

Voting will be opened to the general public to choose the winners in each category. The winners will be announced during the virtual book fair, which runs from August 22-August 24th.

Chris, pictured below, said he was thrilled to have been nominated: “I was delighted to find Song of the Sea God has been nominated for best literary fiction novel in the eFestival of Words book awards.

“The big thrill for me in having a book published has been when people appreciate it and are kind enough to say they like it. That can be award mentions, reviews or people just contacting me on Twitter to say it meant something to them.

“I’m with a small press publisher, Skylight Press, and we don’t have the big marketing machine that the big boys do, so it’s really useful to have awards like this which can draw attention to work which might otherwise miss out on the limelight.”

Chris grew up on Walney Island just off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, just at the northern tip of Morecambe Bay.

Now living in Gloucester with his family, he is a veteran regional newspaper journalist, and currently works as a PR officer for a children’s charity, WellChild.

Perhaps fittingly for a fiction writer, he served as a crime correspondent and was the news editor of the Gloucester Citizen during the time of the Fred and Rose West mass murder case. With his background as a reporter, news editor, main editor and communications correspondent, he has always had an eye to develop his writing craft for more creative purposes.

Chris enjoyed Some early success came when his short story, The Runner, which won the coveted Bridport Prize in 2001. Song of the Sea God was shortlisted (under a previous title, The Longing) for the Daily Telegraph’s first novel prize, and the Yeovil Prize for Literature. The theme of the novel reflects Hill’s deep interest in the sociological and psychological aspects of religion.

Chris Hill’s novel, Song of the Sea God, is published by Skylight Press, and is picking up some rave reviews on Amazon, both in the UK and also in the USA. It is available both in Kindle and print formats.

Skylight Press,  co-founded in 2010 by Rebsie Fairholm and Daniel Staniforth, with Gareth Knight as its adviser, is a small independent British publisher based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (south west England) specializing in literary fiction, and poetry, history and horticulture. Their niche sits somewhere just below the parapet of mainstream publishing, where they are nicely placed to issue gems of quality writing which may have slipped under  the radar of the bigger, mainstream publishers.

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  • May 31, 2014 at 9:49 am

    ‘Mainstream’ publishers are now concentrating on the truly great writers of the 21st century like Victoria Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Naomi Campbell, Ant and Dec, Russell Brand, Cheryl Cole, Chris Tarrant and Jonathan Ross…
    Next up are White Dee and the bearded bloke who bakes bread, plus Monty Don, famous for digging onions and growing artichokes. So much for Eng Lit as we knew it.

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