Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Joel Thomas Hynes Winner of Newfoundland's Cuffer Prize

Novelist, playwright and short-story writer Joel Thomas Hynes seems to be having a pretty good November. Earlier this month, the British and Irish press waxed enthusiastic about Down to the Dirt, his 2004 debut novel, which has just been released in the UK and Ireland. Last week, Hynes won the Cuffer Prize, a short story competition sponsored by St. John's newspaper The Telegram and Creative Book Publishing.

His winning entry, "Conflict of Interest," is an excerpt from a work in progress, which will be published by Beth Follett's Pedlar Press. To read Hynes' sharp glittery shard of Cuffer-awarded fiction, follow this link.

The Cuffer's second place award went to Michael Collins, also no mean hand at putting nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives exactly where they should go. Collins garnered second place for his short story "Mrs. Wakeham." Another of his stories, "The Last Islander," was shortlisted for the award.

Scene from the movie version of Down to the Dirt, with Hynes in the title role.


Cuffer judges Ramona Dearing, Joan Sullivan and Russell Wangersky thought they might have been dealing with a Hynes wannabe when they read his story. Hynes' said (tongue glued to cheek), "That was because I watched my language and peeled back some of the darkness." If you'd like to hear Hynes when he's not being shy, listen to an excerpt from Rattling Books' MP3 download of God Help Thee: A Manifesto, first published in Riddle Fence and read live by Hynes.

Rattling Books is pleased to have Michael Collins on offer as well. Listen to an excerpt from his short story "Slip," narrated by Joel Thomas Hynes. "Slip" is available as a single MP3 download, and is also featured on the MP3 audio book CD EarLit Shorts 4.


Click here to listen to Helen Porter's interview with Angela Antle on last week's Weekend Arts Magazine about Rattling Books' new audio version of her 1970s memoir Below the Bridge. Below the Bridge is the story of Porter's childhood in the 1930s and '40s on the South Side of St. John's. It is also a rich memorial to a community that disappeared: the homes and places of work of the South Side were demolished in the late '50s and early '60s to permit harbour development. In the process, the grave of Shawnadithit, the last known survivor of Newfoundland's indigenous Beothuk, was lost.

Below the Bridge, narrated by Mary Barry, is available from Rattling Books as an unabridged audio book MP3 CD or MP3 download.