Saboteur Spotlight: Best Novella 2021, All Our Squandered Beauty by Amanda Huggins

Congratulations on your recent win at the Saboteur Awards Festival 2021! How did you feel when you found out that you’d been shortlisted this year?

Thank you! I couldn’t believe it when I saw I’d been shortlisted in two categories! It’s a wonderful feeling knowing readers have enjoyed my work so much. I’ve read the other three books which were shortlisted for the best novella award and they’re all fabulous, so I was genuinely amazed when my name came up as the winner.

Do you feel the pandemic has impacted your work at all; made it harder, or perhaps even easier, to reach people and to promote what you’re doing?

It’s been a mixed bag. I think the huge increase in online events has made it easier to connect in some ways and harder in others. People from all over the world have been able to attend the same book launches and readings, and I’ve definitely benefited from that, having brought out two books during lockdown. However, I think most people are suffering from Zoom-fatigue now. It’s a very useful tool, but it does have limitations, and I don’t think anything can replicate that extra something which face to face events offer. You can’t beat the atmosphere of real life meet-ups, and the opportunities to network and get to know new people.

Are you working on anything at the moment that you might be able to tell us a little about?

My second novella, Crossing the Lines, will be coming out soon, and I’ve just finished putting together a new short story collection. I also have a story included in an anthology called Same Same But Different published by Everything With Words later this year. I’m really excited about it, as it includes work by writers including A L Kennedy, Amanda Craig, Alison Moore and Helen Simpson.

I’m at a crossroads right now regarding new projects, however I’ve written a number of poems recently and there are several more floating around in my head, so I think that could be the direction I’ll be heading in next.

Of course, one of the real shortfalls of not being able to run a live awards show is that people miss out on the opportunity to share an acceptance speech. While you’ve got the platform to, is there anything you’d like to share with readers about your win?

All Our Squandered Beauty really means a lot to me, so it’s wonderful to know it has resonated with readers as well. Although the story is completely fictional, Kara is a character very close to my heart, and at times it felt as though I was writing about a life which could easily have been my own.

I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for All Our Squandered Beauty – and Scratched Enamel Heart – I’m really grateful for all your support. Thanks also to my wonderful publisher, Victorina Press, and to the Saboteur Awards team for all their hard work!

To keep up with Amanda and her writing endeavours, you can find her on both Twitter and Instagram under the handle @troutiemcfish. For now, though, a huge congratulations again to Amanda for winning the award for Best Novella 2021!

Our next spotlight will be released on Sunday, June 13th, so keep an eye out.