A FORDINGBRIDGE author is celebrating after being selected to feature on the longlist for a literary prize.

Ann Biggins has been long-listed for the Hall and Woodhouse Local Writing Prize, which is run by the Dorchester Literary Festival, for her book Losing Jane.

Losing Jane was Ann’s first book. It was inspired by Ann’s childhood memories and friendships and was a story she had wanted to tell for many years.

“I am delighted to have been long-listed for my novel, Losing Jane,” said Ann.

“During this very uncertain time, with so much worry and uncertainty it was wonderful to hear the news. It has really lifted my spirits and I’m thrilled.

Losing Jane is set mainly in the 1970s, telling the story of two girls who meet at the first day of secondary school and how their relationship helps them deal with some painful and troubling issues of a very different time.

Since it first came out in 2017 Ann has continued to work on her second novel, although she says the arrival of two granddaughters has slowed down the pace.

The long list was announced announced this week. Other author that have made the longlist include Gail Aldwin with The String Games, Helen Baggott - Posted in the Past, Viv Endecott – Exploring Englishness, Cathie Hartigan – Notes from the Lost, and Brent Shore with Blessed are the Meek.

Paul Atterbury, who runs the Dorchester Literary Festival with Janet Gleeson is delighted that they have been able to keep the prize going, despite lockdown.

He said: “Now in its third year, the prize attracted entries which were, if anything, more diverse than ever, and it’s great to see so much talent still flourishing around us.”

The Prize Ceremony, where the winner will be awarded £1,000, is currently scheduled for October 5 and will be held at the Duchess of Cornwall in Poundbury.

Paul added: “Although, of course everything is a moveable feast at present. We’re still very much working towards the Literary Festival taking place, and will do all we can to ensure it’s a safe environment for everyone.”