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Woohoo! I won the Nathan Carr Milivoy Webber Memorial Prize

As isolation deepens, we are locked in from the world, a mail pops into my mailbox. It congratulates me and I wonder if it is spam.

A Nigerian prince congratulating me for becoming his princess if I paid him 1000 pounds? Or was it the congratulations of those some blogger inviting me to read a little bit on their website and rest for some subscription?

I couldn't believe it when the amazing Kay Adshead wrote to me and said I've won their inaugural Nathan Carr Milivoy Webber Memorial Prize titled HERO NAIDU.

I first pinched myself that I was not delirious due to weeks of staying indoors. And then I read and re-read the email. Then I went back to read my story. I always do that. I want to believe that my story made the judges choose it. So I go back and read it again to see what I had written two months ago.

Was it only the 1st March that I submitted? The first of March is a surreal time. We were still thinking of Wuhan as an isolated epicentre as if we wouldn't hear the tremors. I had completely forgotten that I had entered and that's the way I like it.

I don't like agonizing over submissions to prizes or publishers. If they like it, they know how to get in touch with me. If I didn't win or get a publication deal, it's back to the drawing board with another story or the same story chiselled differently.

But I'm also Indian. I don't believe they gave it to me because it was good. But I read and re-read the email and Kay emailed me a couple of more times and each time she said she loved the story. It made me a bit more confident about the win.

The story will be published on the website in May with amazing illustrations by Raf, the competition illustrator. Find out more about Raf at the prize website.


As someone who grew up performing on stage with mum's plays and now writing for theatre, this prize, chosen by seasoned theatre professionals is a wonderful honour.

Do check out Mama Quilla Productions and their FB page for more videos and about their projects.

Find out more - follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CIyengar5

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