New Writer 2019: Nick Summers

Narrative Non-Fiction

Nick Summers is a writer and a university graduate. He has a BA in Literature and a first class dissertation in creative writing. He formed and led the New Writing Group at the University of Lincoln in 2012, and has received several awards for his work including the 2013 Nigel Winn Prize for Best Creative Fiction.

In the autumn of 2016 Nick worked on Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical alongside Grammy award winning producer Jim Steinman. His current projects include a screenplay, a memoir, and his first novel, South of Salem, which he hopes to submit to agents and publishers in 2019.

Writing Sample

Jim wants to send me Desyrel. It's 5am and I'm wide awake, and Jim wants to send me Desyrel and Lurasidone and Demolox Plus. He says that it's the best thing to take for chronic insomnia. A winning combination. 'No one knows about it,' he says. 'In fact, it's not even meant to cure insomnia – they're anti psychotics!'.

I listen some more. Prescription only. Best doctor money can buy. Richard Gere knows what I'm talking about, he says. Ask Richard Gere. Same doctor. 'I'll ship them to you. What's your address, and I'll ship them to you.'

I give him my address. He already has it, but I give it to him anyway. 'Take two lots before sleeping,' he says, like it's the most casual thing in the world. Something you do every day like when you get up in the morning and you brush your teeth, go down stairs and sit at the counter and eat your breakfast cereal.

'Don't be alarmed," he says, "if you wake up and you can't move in the morning. It's natural. Normal. Nothing to worry about. I promise you - you'll get the best night's sleep you've ever had.'

But I worry all the same.

What if you take the pills, I start to tell myself, what if you take the pills and you don't wake up. What then?

I haven't slept in six days. Six days ago I slept for six hours. Six days later I got another six hours. My total so far, and I'm counting, striking it off like a tally chart on a prison wall, is eighteen days. You know what happens to a mind when it has been deprived of sleep for eighteen days?

It goes crazy.

Nick says:

"The call came at exactly the right time – a freezing Monday morning, battered by the weather, and desperately late for an appointment. Needless to say, it turned my day around completely. A very big thank you to Scottish Book Trust – I couldn't be happier!”