Yesterday the longlist for the 2015 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers was announced. This prize, a collaboration between Express Media and Scribe Publishing, awards $1,500, 10 hours of editorial time with a Scribe editor or publisher, and a year worth of Scribe new release nonfiction.
I’m proud and a bit terrified to be part of this wonderful longlist, comprised of 12 writers. Included in the longlist are writers I greatly admire (Zoya Patel, Ellena Savage and Emma Marie Jones) and a bunch of writers I’ve not yet discovered, but can’t wait to read.
The shortlist for the Scribe Prize will be announced on 2 November. I wish all the longlisted authors the very best – whatever happens with the prize, I hope to read all the works in due course.
Below, I’ve included a synopsis for my longlisted entry, Eating with my Mouth Open, to give you a better idea of what it is:
Our culture’s preoccupation with ‘foodie’ and health culture seems to pitch food as sitting at either end of a spectrum, where food is good or bad. Whichever camp our attitude falls into, our preoccupation with food borders on obsession. Eating with my Mouth Open asks why we’re so tangled up over this most basic requirement of living.
Eating with my Mouth Open is a collection of lyric essays and vignettes which explores the intersections between food and memory. Our relationships with food seem to rest heavily on emotional associations, and so food becomes far more than simply fuel for the body. Food takes on importance for the stories it is used to tell, and for its possibilities as a source of human connection.
Part memoir, part investigative journey, Eating with my Mouth Open aims to reproduce the texture of both memory and food in its writing. It draws on personal experience, interrogating my own attitude to food and the relationship between my family’s food attitudes and my own. The work draws on broad sites of comparison and metaphor, including sociology, anthropology, physiology and literature.
The work raises questions about the role of voluntary and involuntary memory, looking at the ways we connect to seemingly-simple food. It questions the overwhelming significance of food, and memory’s connection to this significance. It looks at the role the body plays in remembering, and food’s affects upon the body in issues such as obesity, depression and heart disease.