On Friday I emailed the winners of my Beautiful Words competition. I ended up picking them at random, mostly because pretty much all of the entries would have been worthy winners, so that felt like the fairest thing to do. A huge thanks to everyone who took part – there were far more than I’d expected and that’s a brilliant thing because it shows just how much people like words. You are all, very definitely, my kind of people.

(And I’ll remind you that you can still be in with a chance of winning a copy by telling me what would be in your ideal bookshop.)

And the winners are:


‘Ecclesiastical’ – which carries for me a hint of something fantastical, and ‘eccles’ cakes eaten after Sunday Service and in a dimly lit church hall and eaten off a grand china plate; and ‘don’t drop the crumbs on the floor’, my mam scolded me before I ever did. And the minister ruffled my hair into un-neatness, which I didn’t like, and he laughed a hearty laugh loud as the word of God, and his breath was like dragon’s breath, and his hands were heavy as wet towels on my head. And my mam said I should feel blessed for the attention he showed me.


Tara Laskowski

Apocalyptic is fun to say. So is rubbish. Go ahead say it. “That’s rubbish.” Makes you feel crotchety and entitled.


Jo Burnett

Verisimilitude. Or susurration. I like the way they roll off the tongue


Jocelyn Hayes

Macaroon, because I could never say it correctly. It always came out ‘racamoon’.


Danuta Kean

Elbow. It’s such a lovely word. Say it again and again and it sounds lie something exotic and lovely. I also like sarcophagus.


Loree Westron Bumbershoot. Ah, yes, why. Mostly, I just like the sound of it. It’s easy to pronounce, but it sounds a little bit rude. I also like that it refers to something most people have, but is a word few would be familiar with today.


Your books will be in the post just as soon as my envelopes have arrived.

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