At the age of nine Siobhan Dooley left South Africa for the Seychelles with her family. At the age of eighteen she left home to go to the University of St Andrews, where she is now in her final year of studies. She will shortly graduate with a degree in English Literature, having only the most whimsical of notions as to where she goes next. It most certainly involves packing her bags and travelling further, perhaps to another place beginning with S, close to the sea.
She won the 2012 Dan Hemingway Short Story Prize for ‘Brothers In Arms’ which draws on her father’s experience of the Border War, a war that is now hardly ever spoken of in the new South Africa. She feels her life as an expatriate has set her at a distance from her country and its past, but she endeavours to write in spite of a sense of displacement to reach a better understanding of herself, her family and birth place.
The 2012 judges were John Burnside, Meaghan Delahunt and Sue Hemingway.