Author through to national finals

Castle Douglas author Mary Smith’s latest work, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women, has won through to the finals of a national competition.

This non-fiction account of living and working with women in Afghanistan is a finalist in The People’s Book Prize. The winner will be decided by public vote using an online voting system.

Mary will find out the result of the vote when she heads to London for the awards ceremony held on May 29. Already, though, she is delighted to have beaten off competition from strong contenders including Greg Wallace of Masterchef fame and Roger Moore and other authors published by much bigger publishers.

She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be a finalist – though very nervous. It would be such a coup for my publisher, Indigo Dreams if one of their authors won the prize. One of the great things about the People’s Prize is that authors from the small independent publishers have a chance.”

The People’s Book Prize, founded by Tatiana Wilson, allows new authors an equal opportunity in the marketplace and aims to raise the profile of libraries – and to celebrate reading. The patron of the Book Prize is best-selling author Sir Frederick Forsyth who will attend the award ceremony. 

Mary said: “I know lots of readers voted for my book in the previous round and I am very, very grateful to them and hope they vote one more time for Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni.”

Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is in the non-fiction category. To vote for Mary’s book go to

Voting continues until 10 am on Wednesday May 29.