Dr Yvonne Reddick wins Northern Debut Award for Memoir
An award-winning poet from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has added another accolade to her list of achievements after winning a Northern Writers’ Award.
Dr Yvonne Reddick, Reader in English Literature and Creative Writing, won the Northern Debut Award for Memoir category at an awards ceremony hosted by New Writing North, with support from Northumbria University and Arts Council England.
The Northern Writers’ Awards were established in 2003 to recognise talent and support new work towards publication or broadcast. Each year, the awards identify some of the best unpublished writing in the country, attracting the attention of literary agents and publishers for whom the incredible track record of the awards marks a stamp of approval.
Yvonne is one of 25 writers who received Northern Writers’ Awards, worth over £50,000 in cash awards, mentoring and support.
"I feel incredibly proud to receive this award. As the daughter and granddaughter of petroleum engineers, I’ve had unique insights into oil, the source of energy that has shaped much of the twentieth century, but which is having some worrying impacts on the climate."— Dr Yvonne Reddick, Reader in English Literature and Creative Writing
The award will support the development of her book, Fire on Winter Hill, which looks at Yvonne’s family’s fascination with hills and mountains, her Dad’s career in the oil industry, and the impacts of climate change that she has witnessed when hiking, climbing and mountaineering.
Yvonne said: “I feel incredibly proud to receive this award. As the daughter and granddaughter of petroleum engineers, I’ve had unique insights into oil, the source of energy that has shaped much of the twentieth century, but which is having some worrying impacts on the climate.
“I’ve had an attempt to summit Mont Blanc called off due to serious rock falls and witnessed wildfires ravaging landscapes from Northern California to the Manchester moorlands near where I live. Even my favourite rock climbs at Winnats Pass have a former oil extraction site next to them.”
Yvonne’s poetry debut Burning Season, published by Bloodaxe in May with aid of an Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Leadership Fellowship, was the start of a long process of writing about oil extraction and its environmental impacts. She has spent her career researching the lives and work of authors who are also environmental activists, including writers opposed to oil extraction in the Niger Delta, and publishing poets who are engaged in environmental activities.
The award provides mentoring, a writing retreat, and a small grant which Yvonne is planning to use to travel to a mountain writing residency.