Edgehill Prize and reviews

I am delighted to be on the Edgehill 2015 Longlist!

Great reviews for Little Crackers so far –

“A terrifically dark and frightening collection, Little Crackers jolts with electricity and malice” Mslexia

“These stories challenge the very idea that such a state as ‘normal’ exists” James Robertson

“These twisted tales beat with a heart of stone, Higgins has managed to create a little godless universe that stings like a paper cut – Bravo!” The Crack Magazine

“full of surprising twists and outcomes – taking the reader on a journey through other people’s unique stories” Matthew Bradby Queen’s Nursing Institute

Getting short listed

If you’re not in – you can’t win.

I’ve been short-listed for the Highlands and Islands short story award – results November.

Competitions are the life-blood to my writing. They make me edit, hone down, read aloud and get my story to a standard that otherwise wouldn’t happen. Getting short-listed is a pat on the back and encouraging nudge to keep doing going. It’s affirmation of a certain standard and helps deal with self doubts.


The common denominator for individuals attending a creative writing workshop is they want to write. People come from all different walks of life; ethnicity, sexuality, political and religious beliefs. All this should be irrelevant as participants goal is to write and to write well, but the sum total of our personal identity, culture and attitudes is the biggest influence on a writing voice – whatever the exercise set. Without our individuality, writers would be a very homogenous and boring group.

One exercise I’ve used with several groups is: imagine three people in a lift. The lift gets stuck. One of the people in the lift has something unusual in their hands.

Write a short piece (work on it for 15-20mins) about the above scenario and what happens. Use all the senses to describe event.

This exercise is to emphasise “showing rather than telling”

When doing this exercise with teenagers many of them put a werewolf or vampire in the lift.

When doing this exercise with all women – there were mainly relationship dynamics trapped in the lift; e.g. couples and lovers, mothers and children, carers and their charges.

When doing the exercise with men – the lift became a porthole to another world. One of the members of the lift was an alien. One introduced a killer amongst them.

I’ve found the ‘difference’ between male and female writers is noticeable. On the whole, women like to write about emotional situations, domestic scenes, relationship tensions and family life. Men like action rather than feelings; their preference is fantasy, crime and science fiction.

I guess in a clumsy way through the workshops I’ve reminded myself: We’re all different, and our writing voice is as idiosyncratic and unique as ourselves.