Judith Wilson is a published author and magazine journalist. She writes short stories and flash fiction, and is at work on a new historical novel. She lives in London, but is often inspired to write about Liverpool and its environs, where she grew up. She has also written fourteen non-fiction books on interiors and design. She has an MA in English Literature from the University of Warwick.
Judith has always loved writing, and still recalls the moment her English teacher told her ‘you’ll be a writer one day’. This year she has been shortlisted for the 2018 London Short Story Prize and won second prize for the 2018 Exeter Story Prize; she has also won first prize for the 2017 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, the 2017 Nivalis Short Story Contest and the 2016 Retreat West Short Story Prize. She won second prize for the Colm Toibin International Short Story Award 2016. Although she’s always pursued a writing career as a journalist and non-fiction author, she only began writing fiction six years ago, when she completed the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. This proved a springboard and she’s now had short stories published in various anthologies, including Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, The Bath Short Story Award Anthology 2017, and the Retreat West What Was Left Anthology.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading, or being read to as a child?
A: The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter – I loved that word, soporific, long before I knew what it meant!
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: Last year, when I won the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, Lorian posted me a card from America, with an incredibly encouraging, hand-written note about my writing. The personal touch is so important to writers – that card has pride of place on my desk.
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: Time-travelling – so that I could experience the real smells, textures and colours of life in previous centuries. I’d quite like to walk down a London street in the sixteenth century – that would be an education.
A well-aimed kick winds her; gasping, she bends double. Late afternoon, deep-dark February, and on the snaking branches of the common limes outside, snow sits tight, a vanilla crust ready to drop. She knows it won’t fall. There’s not a breath of winter wind. The air, it’s freezing. Another, insistent kick, a dense heel to …