IRISH Independent columnist and author Martina Devlin has been named 2012 winner of the Royal Society of Literature's prestigious VS Pritchett Memorial Prize.
The annual award goes to the best unpublished short story of the year in the UK, and is in its 13th year.
"I'm thrilled to win anything in which VS Pritchett's name appears in the same sentence as mine," said Martina.
"The winning piece is called 'Singing Dumb' and is about a young girl in a rural community minding her three-year-old brother who, unfortunately, is run over by a car.
"It was a tragedy which happened in my family a generation ago, and left a lasting memory."
VS Pritchett, who died in 1997, was regarded as among the finest short story writers of the 20th century. During the course of a lengthy career, the prestigious 'New Yorker' magazine called the English author "our language's presiding man of letters".
The winning author will receive the award, and read her story, at an event in the RSL's headquarters in London on November 5. The winning entry will also be published in 'Prospect' and the 'RSL Review'.
Martina's column today is on Page 31