Over the last few months the staff at Shakespeare and Company have been busily reading hundreds of anonymous entries for the Shakespeare and Company literary prize. After reading submissions late into the night, we then meet up every week to decide on what stories capture, delight and surprise us.
A long list will be drawn up and then sent to the judges Erica Wagner, author and literary editor of The Times, author, artist and activist Breyten Breytenbach, Darin Strauss author of Half a Life (finalist for the National Book Award) and a representative from Melville House.
As you can imagine there is a lot of excitement (and much debate about what exactly good writing is) - how different our opinions often are …
Melville House, publisher of those beautiful simple editions of classic novellas such as A Simple Heart by Flaubert, will publish the winner. The winner will then come to Paris and read at the bookshop.
As I just remarked on Twitter, even in a prize economy, this one surely takes the cake.