Playwright Kate Kerrow was awarded this year’s Pat Kavanagh Prize, for her novel about two young women activists, at a ceremony held at Goldsmiths on 17 January 2018.
The Prize is presented annually to a graduate of the MA Creative & Life Writing Programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. The £500 Prize was created in memory of the much admired literary agent, who died in 2008, and is awarded by a team of her colleagues at United Agents.
Kate won for her novel which is set in the London of 1913 and is about a young, upper-middle class woman called Stella who helps facilitate safe, legal abortions for women in need. When a working-class suffragette comes to Stella asking for an abortion, the two women make a big impact on one another. She describes it as “a cross-class love story set against the backdrop of First Wave British feminism, and the onset of the First World War.”
On winning the Prize, Kate Kerrow said: “I'm delighted to win, it felt really special. It was lovely to have so much support from my peers too – I'm grateful to them, those on and off the shortlist. I've loved reading their work, and they've been really supportive in helping me develop mine.”
Kate’s work has been professionally produced in the UK and in America, where she was an artist-in-residence with The British International Theatre Program. Her plays have been listed for The Bruntwood Prize and BBC Writer's Room.
The other shortlisted writers were Natasha Bush, Olivia Dunnett, James Greig, Ellen Harris, Alastair Lewis, Kajal Odedra, Oliver Shamlou, Deschaney Tate and Luke Wallis.