Hysteria Writing Competition Judges – Veronica Bright

Each year we interview our volunteer judges for the Hysteria Writing Competition and I’d like to introduce Veronica Bright.

Tell me one thing no-one knows about you.

For the first seven years of my life I lived in a house in a Hertfordshire village called Breachwood Green. My parents kept chickens and grew vegetables, and my mum taught me the names of wild flowers and birds. Sounds idyllic? In some ways, yes, BUT… All the water we needed had to be fetched from a shared tap beside the road; the toilet was in a sort of shed in the garden (two seats, one for adults, one for children; no flush!); my mum chopped wood every day in order to feed the big black range in the kitchen. All that hard work was lost on me, and I’m still a country girl at heart.

What do you enjoy reading the most and why?

Books I can get lost in, like ‘The Long Song’ by Andrea Levy, or ‘State of Wonder’ by Ann Patchett. Books that make me understand other people more, like ‘Notes From an Exhibition’ and ‘A Perfectly Good Man’ by Patrick Gale, ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee, or anything by Ann Tyler. Books for their wonderful plots and entertainment value, like ‘Cloud Atlas’ by David Mitchell. Books that make me think, like ‘Never Let me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro, or anything by Margaret Atwood.

If there was one book or piece of writing you wish you had written what would it be?

‘Instructions For A Heatwave’ by Maggie O’Farrell. I’ve loved all her books, but this is the one I wish I’d written. I empathised with all the characters, I felt for them all the way, I wanted to meet them in person.

What prompted you to volunteer to be a judge in the Hysteria Writing Competition?

I’ve entered many competitions over the past nine years, and am grateful to the judges who gave their time to reading all our entries. It’s a pleasure to be able to give something back.

If there was a film of your life who would play you and why?

Hilarious question. No-one is ever going to make a film of my life, but if they did, I’d be a voice in my head telling me not to give up. Stick with your dreams, I’d say, go for it, you can do it. A bit like a persistent and invisible parrot on my shoulder.

Where can we find out more about you?

My most recent short stories have appeared in printed anthologies, including:

  • Hysteria 2 (2013)
  • The Write Path 2013 (Published by the National Association of Writers’ Groups)
  • Greenacre Writers anthology Volume 2 (2012 winners)
  • Belper Arts Festival Anthology 2013
  • Onward Writing Anthology 2012
  • Coming soon: Greenacre Writers anthology Volume 3 (2013 winners)

Recent stories published online include:

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