We are delighted to announce that JAC CATTANEO has won the 2010 Royal Academy of Arts short story competition, sponsored by Litro Magazine. Jac, a University of Chichester MA student and member of THRESHOLDS, won the prize for her story ‘Lessons in Tightrope Walking’. An earlier version of the story was short-listed for the Asham prize in 2009, which itself is a tremendous achievement. Jac modestly describes the story’s further development as ‘a sorry tale of rejections and re-writes.’ Obviously, though, her persistence and continued work has paid off.
About the inspiration for the story, Jac says…
‘Lessons in Tightrope Walking’ was inspired by Marc Chagall’s painting ‘A Circus Horse’. There are personal echoes in the story, too: living in Geneva one summer and visiting an exhibition of Chagall’s lithographs; defacing signs as a child while living in apartheid South Africa; and my interest in Dada poetry and absurdist instructions like the Fluxus workbook. I also watched Philippe Petit’s amazing film ‘Man on Wire’ whilst writing ‘Lessons in Tightrope Walking.’
At Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, where Jac completed her undergraduate degree, her final degree show was also based on the idea of the carnivalesque. Recently, though, her work has moved away from the visual arts into fiction writing.
Of her MA studies, Jac says…
Working with established writers and fellow students on the University of Chichester’s Creative Writing MA has helped me to recognise my obsessions. The course has given me confidence to take risks with my writing – to go out onto the high wire and play.
Jac’s story ‘Cry Wolf’ was voted October’s ‘story of the month’ at the online literary magazine, Bartleby Snopes.
And to round it all off, Jac has just received news that her 100-word story ‘Thursday is Purple’ has been selected as the runner-up in the flash fiction section of the Legend Writing Awards.
Well done JAC – and many congratulations from all of the THRESHOLDS team!