[DWJ] untraced articles

Judith Ridge judith.ridge at gmail.com
Wed Sep 7 01:10:40 EDT 2011


God. Wasn't she marvellous.

On 6 September 2011 23:21, Meredith MacArdle <meredithxyz at googlemail.com>wrote:

> Hi Deborah and Judith
>
> Thanks for getting back so quickly. Basically, I have no further
> information on these articles at all, just their titles. Diana would
> have added background details for the collection if she had had the
> time, and at the moment her family is too busy or it is too early for
> them to go through her papers. I am trying to find out who they were
> written for.,
>
> When I Won the Guardian Award is not, sadly, the postscript in Charmed
> Life. It is quite short and very funny, and it might ring a bell in
> someone's mind, so I'm adding it here:
>
> When I won The Guardian Award
> When I won The Guardian Award for Charmed Life (In 1978 I think it
> was), I was exceedingly astonished – and also very, very pleased. The
> reason for both these feelings was that the judges were all writers
> themselves. There is nothing more flattering than having your book
> liked by people who do the same thing as you do – because, surely,
> they must be the hardest to fool and the hardest to please. They know
> how to do it: if they think you'’ve done it right, then you have.
> It turns out that I was right to feel that way. If I'’d known then
> what I know now, I'’d have been even more surprised and flattered,
> because people who have won this Award were always asked to be one of
> the judges for next year. I have been doing that. As soon as I got
> home from a Book Fair in Rochdale, books began to arrive, stacks of
> them, two nearly every day. It was better than Christmas. The rest of
> my family began to get rather envious. Until, that is, they saw the
> books. Then they said things like `‘I wouldn'’t read that lot if you
> paid me!'’ and turned away.
> I thought they were being a little unreasonable. After all, as I well
> knew, it takes a lot of time and a vast amount of effort to write a
> book. You ought to do people the courtesy of deciding you don'’t like
> a book after you'’ve read it at least. So I read diligently – luckily
> I read fast – three or more books a day. And it did impress me what a
> lot of time and what a vast amount of effort these writers had put
> into their books. I felt I couldn'’t be so unkind as to dislike any of
> them. I wrote long, long notes on each book, pointing out to myself
> all the good things these authors had done.
> Well. Armed with this heavy stack of kind remarks, I went to London to
> meet the other writers on the panel. The judging began.
> `‘Now what about this book?'’ said the Chairperson. `‘Fairies at the
> Bottom of the Garden, by Selina Slime?'’
> And all hell broke loose.
> `‘Disgusting! Horrible! Terrible!'’ shouted the writers. `‘Are people
> still writing such things? No marks!'’
> `‘Then how about this beautiful historical romance?'’ asked the
> Chairperson. `‘In the Hands of Crusoe'’s Cannibals?'’
> `‘Dreadful!'’ yelled the authors. `‘Nobody gets to eat anybody.'’
> `‘Then,'’ said the Chairperson desperately, `‘how about this lovely
> description of how it feels to be a child at a bad school – Hero of
> the Slum, by Sylvester Glum?'’
> By this time I had realised that my kind notes were just hiding my
> true feelings, and I began yelling with the rest. `‘Revolting! Who'’s
> this Glum trying to fool?!'’
> `‘Terrible do-gooding book!'’ bawled all the rest.
> `‘Then what about this charmingly poetic---?'’ began the Chairperson.
> `‘NO!'’ we screamed. `‘Tear it up!'’
> In short, we were utterly ruthless, terribly noisy, and quite right.
> There did finally come a book at which we all screamed `‘YES!'’ even
> louder. And started reading bits out and howling with laughter and
> interrupting one another to say what the best bits were. And it was a
> terribly good book.
> But when I was on the train, going back home, I did think, `‘Good
> heavens! I wonder what they all screamed about my book?'’
>
> cheers, Meredith
>
>
>
> On 06/09/2011, Judith Ridge <judith.ridge at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Meredith,
> >
> > Is the When I Won the Guardian Award the piece that was published in the
> > HarperCollins Charmed Life classic edition?
> >
> > Judith
> >
> > On 6 September 2011 21:23, Meredith MacArdle
> > <meredithxyz at googlemail.com>wrote:
> >
> >> Dear All
> >>
> >> I am trying to track down the origin of a few of Diana's articles, and
> >> at the moment all I have to go on is their title. If anyone has any
> >> ideas of when and where and why they were first published, or any
> >> suggestions for people to contact, I'd be really grateful. This is for
> >> a book collection of Diana's articles which will be published by
> >> Random House next year.
> >>
> >> The really mysterious ones are titled:
> >>
> >> The Children in the Wood (1981)
> >>
> >> When I Won the Guardian Award
> >>
> >> The Halloween Worms
> >>
> >> Origins of The Merlin Conspiracy (for a magazine)
> >>
> >> Finally, did anyone attend a talk Diana gave in Dundee in 2000 or
> >> 2001, or a talk in Boston that she gave on The Heroic Ideal:  A
> >> Personal Odyssey? This last was published in The Lion and the Unicorn
> >> journal, but I'd like to know what conference/literary fair etc the
> >> talk was originally delivered to.
> >>
> >> thanks very much
> >>
> >> Meredith
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> Dwj at suberic.net
> >> http://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Judith Ridge
> > Western Sydney Young People's Literature Officer
> >
> > Arts and Cultural Development
> > Blacktown City Council
> > PO Box 63
> > (62 Flushcombe Road)
> > Blacktown NSW 2148
> > AUSTRALIA
> >
> > --
> > My work blog: http://westword.wordpress.com/
> > My personal blog: http://www.misrule.com.au/s9y/
> > My personal website: http://www.misrule.com.au
> > _______________________________________________
> > Dwj mailing list
> > Dwj at suberic.net
> > http://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
> >
>
>
> --
> Diana Wynne Jones fansite: http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk
> Changeover and The Gods Within: http://www.moondustbooks.biz
>
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-- 
Judith Ridge
Western Sydney Young People's Literature Officer

Arts and Cultural Development
Blacktown City Council
PO Box 63
(62 Flushcombe Road)
Blacktown NSW 2148
AUSTRALIA

--
My work blog: http://westword.wordpress.com/
My personal blog: http://www.misrule.com.au/s9y/
My personal website: http://www.misrule.com.au


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