A stunned Wearside author - and tall ships veteran - was overcome with emotion after reaching the shortlist of a prestigious awards.
What a year it has been for Naomi Austin and it continues to get even better.
Her book, called The Call of the Sea, has been shortlisted in the Maritime Media Awards. She is in the running in the Mountbatten category which recognises an author who has contributed most significantly to public awareness of maritime issues.
Naomi, who is a lecturer in Fashion and Design Promotion at the University of Sunderland, will attend a dinner at Drapers Hall in London on October 31 to find out if she has won.
She said: “I can’t quite believe it! To be nominated was amazing, especially when I saw all the other authors and how huge some of them are.
To get this far is amazing in my eyes, so I’m just quite overcome with it all! I’m just so happy to be getting the history of Sunderland shipbuilding and the Tall Ships Races out to the massesNaomi Austin
“So to get shortlisted is beyond my wildest dreams, especially for my first book
“I’ve been sent a formal invitation so now I just have to keep everything crossed and hope for the best.”
The news is the latest in an astonishing year of success for Naomi.
* She was involved in The Tall Ships Races for the 25th year in a row and sailed on board two ships, the Alexander von Humboldt 2 and the Statsraad Lehmkuhl.
* Her book, on her 25 years of maritime experience, did so well, it was presented to The Princess Royal who was at the Sunderland leg of The Tall Ships Races. The book also raised awareness of the shipbuilding industry on Wearside.
* Architect George Clarke, who rose to prominence on TV shows such as Restoration Man andAmazing Spaces, wrote a foreword to Naomi’s 288-page publication.
* Naomi also staged an exhibition which ran for a month at ArtsCentre Washington. It exhibited stunning photographs of Naomi’s experiences on the seas as part of a Tall Ship crew, and was also the launchpad for her new book.
Naomi said: “To get this far is amazing in my eyes, so I’m just quite overcome with it all!
“I’m just so happy to be getting the history of Sunderland shipbuilding and the Tall Ships Races out to the masses... this was exactly my intention so that the stories wouldn’t be lost forever! Just thrilled!”