The Next Chapter Award.

I’d circled the release date of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in my calendar. Gail Honeyman won The Next Chapter Award from The Scottish Book Trust in 2014. She received a bursary, mentorship and time away at a writing retreat. Her manuscript was snapped up after a bid at the Frankfurt Book Fair and Reese Witherspoon recently bought the film rights. Eleanor Oliphant is off to Hollywood.

I was dubious about Eleanor’s character at first, she’s awkward and unable to connect with the people around her. This is where Gail’s genius lies because by the end of the novel you care so deeply about Eleanor, you miss not having her in your life anymore. Eleanor Oliphant is one of those books that will make me a better writer for reading it.

The Next Chapter award is open to those who are forty or over. It supports emerging poets, novelists and children’s authors who find the time and space to work challenging. To find out when The Next Chapter Award 2018 is open for entry go to