Cover Stories: Group biography; Children's fiction competition; Unpublished Virginia Woolf

The Literator
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The Independent Culture

Michael Holroyd - who won this year's David Cohen Award for Literature - has once again embarked on a major biography. Having published the final volume of his magnum opus on George Bernard Shaw in 1997, Holroyd turned to his own life and family, writing two volumes of memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic, which revealed a somewhat curious childhood and showed Holroyd to be an autodidact whose education took place in the public library. His latest project is a "group biography of two theatrical dynasties", the families of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. No doubt Sheridan Morley, grandson of Ms Terry, will have a few anecdotes to contribute.

Michael Holroyd - who won this year's David Cohen Award for Literature - has once again embarked on a major biography. Having published the final volume of his magnum opus on George Bernard Shaw in 1997, Holroyd turned to his own life and family, writing two volumes of memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic, which revealed a somewhat curious childhood and showed Holroyd to be an autodidact whose education took place in the public library. His latest project is a "group biography of two theatrical dynasties", the families of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. No doubt Sheridan Morley, grandson of Ms Terry, will have a few anecdotes to contribute.

Richard & Judy's recent writing competition drew entries of such a high standard that Maria Rejt of Macmillan decided to publish not just one winner but also five runners-up. Now aspirant writers of children's and young adult fiction have a chance to win a publishing contract. For Faber has joined forces with Waterstone's in a competition titled The WOW Factor in which the prize is a publishing contract, with a £1,000 advance, a royalty - and guaranteed front-of-store promotion. There are two categories, 8 -12 and teens, and anyone 16 and over may enter by taking three chapters and a synopsis to their local Waterstone's between 15 and 31 July; a complete manuscript must be available by 30 September.

Hesperus Press, founded three years ago, and the publisher of a previously unpublished opus by Virginia Woolf, has scored another coup. Two in fact. This autumn it will publish a brace of little-known film treatments by Graham Greene and The Hyde Park News, a newspaper written by Virgina Woolf with Vanessa Bell and Thoby Stephen when they were children.

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