John F. Hanley

  • Adjudicating Jersey's Spring Literary Festival

    Yes, I was surprised to be asked but now I'm a published author and not just an aspiring writer, I suppose the odds had swung in my favour. That and thirty-eight years of teaching English and Drama probably gave me some credibility. However, it is a great honour to be part of such a prestigious event which has been at the centre of island life since 1908.

    Full details can be found at:

    http://www.jerseyeisteddfod.org.je/

    Most of my work is already complete as I have assessed all the written entries and made my recommendations for awards in each of the seven categories.

    The major award in the literary section is the Jack Higgins trophy which is donated by the world renowned author Harry Patterson who has been an island resident for many years.

    So I am looking forward to meeting the competitors at the exhibition to be held at RJA&HS Exhibition Hall in Trinity on Wednesday 13th March.

    I'm not a very good blogger though as, despite my new year's resolution, this is my first effort in nearly a month. Well, I have been busy preparing my second novel, The Last Boat, for publication this summer.

    It is now in production with my publishers, Troubador and I'm planning a launch in Jersey on 28th June to coincide with the 73rd anniversary of the German bombing and occupation of the island in 1940.

    Though the novel is not primarily about this event, it does feature in the climax of a story which starts eleven days earlier with the greatest marine disaster in British history when the Luftwaffe bomb and sink the converted troopship HMT Lancastria off St Nazaire. No one knows exactly how many lives were lost in those few minutes and estimates vary between 3,500 and 6,500 but it was such a shock that Winston Churchill suppressed the news and the report into the tragedy was sealed for 100 years!

    As we progress towards publication I'll try to post a few details about the process on these pages.

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