David Whitehouse Takes Home the To Hell with Prizes, um, Prize

David Whitehouse with Kwame Kwei-Armah, Francis Bickmore, India Knight

We feel like the To Hell with Prizes award ceremony last Sunday couldn’t have gone any better (think running out of wine and forcing everyone to drink straight shots of Jack Daniels was an accident? Think again). Our snazzy venue was full of London’s best and brightest literary types, with the welcome addition of a few out-of-towners who wouldn’t let a little volcano stop them from getting to the London Book Fair. We got to listen to fantastic readings by veteran authors DBC Pierre, Andrew O’Hagan, and Hanif Kureishi, as well as the first-ever reading of our new book The Cuckoo Boy by debut author Grant Gillespie.

And of course, David Whitehouse (represented by Cathryn Summerhayes of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) took the prize for his novel Bed, as judged by our superstar panel: journalist India Knight, Canongate editor Francis Bickmore, Waterstone’s online editor Greg Eden, and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Favourite quotes of the night? India Knight cheekily telling the publishing industry to “try harder” to get risky new authors published, and David admitting that his newly-won £5,000 was the exact amount he owed his mother.

Check out an extract of Bed here, if you haven’t already.


The Cuckoo Boy Takes Flight

If you don’t like puns (especially of the avian variety), then this probably isn’t the place for you. The Cuckoo Boy by Grant Gillepsie is the first novel on our To Hell With First Novels list, and although it contains few puns, it’s very good. It hits shelves May 6, so expect a lot of shouting about it until then . . . and after then. See here for more details on this brilliant new book.

David Vann Packs the To Hell with Books House

London’s litterati squeezed  into Woburn Walk’s To Hell with Books for a night of air kisses, Becks from a bucket, and a fresh new take on the concept of personal space. David stood on a stool because he’s a raging egomaniac (actually, we just wanted to see him better – only a couple To Hell With operatives had the gall to stand on the sofa like a gaggle of teenage fangirls).

He read “It’s All Yours,” a story shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award, and part of “Ketchikan,” from Legend of a Suicide.

Florence Welch stopped by to steal one of our event posters. Not a big deal.