The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
Go Back

Ms Susan Elderkin

Nationality: United Kingdom

Year: 1994

Subject Area: Arts and Humanities

It was a Wingate Scholarship that allowed me, aged 25, to follow up one of those vague, crazy notions that are hard to explain and easy to dismiss. I had a sense I'd find my first novel in the Arizona desert. I did. My two months there, driving round in a battered VW Bug, looking and gathering and thinking, resulted in ‘Sunset over Chocolate Mountains’, published in 2000. It won a Betty Trask prize for first novels and was translated into eight languages. Trusting the process, I next went to Western Australia, where I found my second novel, ‘The Voices’. That came out in 2003 and in the same year I was named by Granta as one of the 20 Best Young British Novelists. I still travel to write, and write to live – both as a travel writer and a novelist. In a way Wingate made me the writer I am.