Daniel, Alistair

Biography

2004-5 Charles Pick Fellow

"I’d like to thank everyone involved, for the wonderful opportunity of this fellowship. It has been a great experience in many ways and I hope I have made the most of it.

Until I arrived last August, progress on my novel had been very intermittent, and having the time and space in which to generate some writing momentum has been invaluable. Over the six months I have managed to make substantial progress with the plot, distilling the various ideas I had into something (hopefully) much more workable. I have also been able to go over the first third of the novel (approximately 100 pages) and work it into a coherent unit with a view to sending it to agents, and to push on into writing the next third.

All this has been made possible by the simple luxuries of a quiet environment and no other demands on my time, but I have also enjoyed and benefited from the writing programme at UEA. It was great to have access to the literary festivals and I appreciated the opportunity to give a reading and meet some of the MA and PhD students. I wasn’t able to take advantage of the PhD workshops, unfortunately, as their fortnightly meetings coincided with trips I had to make to London, but Jon Cook’s advice and feedback has been extremely helpful.

I only wish –greedily – that the fellowship were longer: six months pass in a flash and the award is so generous, especially given the free accommodation, that I could quite easily have stayed for nine or ten months without further support (of course, I didn’t have any dependants). As it is, I’ve effectively extended the fellowship by staying on in Norwich for a few months and continuing to write.

The fellowship has enabled me to get into a position to send material to agents, and to make real progress on a project that has sometimes threatened to stall due to work and other commitments. This has been invaluable for my novel and once again I would like to extend my warmest thanks and appreciation to all involved for their support and encouragement."