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2017 Competitions

2017 Competition – Judges

Short Story Judge

Ruth Hogan



Ruth Hogan worked for ten years in a senior local government position (Human Resources - Recruitment, Diversity and Training). After an accident in her early thirties she was unable to work full-time and this convinced her to start writing seriously. She got a part-time job as an osteopath's receptionist but spent all her spare time writing. She passed the time recovering from cancer and enduring chemotherapy by writing, and the eventual result was The Keeper of Lost Things, published early 2017 which rapidly became a best-seller. Her next book, The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is available from May 2018.

Poetry and Bedford Prize Poetry Judge

Lesley Saunders



Lesley Saunders is the author of nine books and pamphlets of poetry, most recently Periplous: the Twelve Voyages of Pytheas, a chapbook from Shearsman Books. Her poems have been widely published and have won many awards. Her collection Cloud Camera was described by Michael Hulse in The Poetry Review as 'the most intelligent and thrilling book of poetry I've seen in several years' and elsewhere as 'a modern classic'. Lesley has performed her work at various festivals and on the radio; she has worked on collaborative projects with artists, photographers, sculptors, dancers, and a composer and choir. She runs writing workshops for major organisations as well as for local groups.

Bedford Prize Short Story Jdge

Steve Lowe



Steve Lowe is a journalist, academic and one-time local politician. He first began working for Bedfordshire on Sunday as a political reporter and commentator in 1996. In 1999 he became the news editor and in 2000 the editor. After leaving in 2014 he has worked as a freelance journalist. Steve gained a BSc (Hons) at the OU in Politics and an MSc at Birkbeck College, University of London, in European Politics and Globalisation. He has lectured on politics and journalism at the University of Bedfordshire, Press Association, and at many colleges and secondary schools.


2017 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
Bubblegum Tends to Corrupt Bill Roberts, Liverpool, Merseyside
Clones Apart Robert Smith, Perth Scotland
The Daniel Album Bruce Harris, Seaton, Devon
Dot Josie Turner, Tonbridge, Kent
Friday's Child Roz DeKett, Philadelphia, USA
Get Along Without You Now Dianne Bown-Wilson, Exeter, Devon
Good Girl Paul Barnett, Clevedon, Somerset
A Hidden Place Mike Fox, Richmond, London
Laxmi's Lost Boy Neil Beardmore, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Maybe Margate Helen Salsbury, Denmead, Hampshire
When the Buttercups Burst Nigel Hall, East Dulwich, London
The Wrong Socks Alison Wassell, St Helens, Merseyside

2017 Poetry Competition - Shortlist

Poem title Poet
Attention-seeking Bill Greenwell, Darlington, County Durham
Conserving Time Ali Pardoe, Royston, Hertfordshire
Death in the city Anne Casey, New South Wales, Australia
Fledgling Cheryl Pearson, Levenshulme, Manchester
Goose Girl Cheryl Pearson, Levenshulme, Manchester
Hotel Mary Gilonne, Pourrieres, France
Japanese Watercolour Sue Norton, York, Yourkshire
Mr Abercrombie A F Pollard, Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Rabbit and tortoise find each other on a window sill Kay Cotton, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
Sissy writes to her father from Funchal Kay Cotton, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
The Solace of Bearings Susan Davies, Fareham, Hampshire
Sugar Thief Catherine Rose, Ickwell, Bedfordshire
Trial Cheryl Pearson, Levenshulme, Manchester
Vicarage Kitchen Paul Canon Harris, Bournemouth, Dorset

2017 Short Story Winners


First Prize

The Daniel Album

by

Bruce Harris

Second Prize

Friday's Child

by

Roz DeKett

Third Prize

Get Along Without You Now

by

Dianne Bown-Wilson

2017 Poetry Winners


First Prize

Trial

by

Cheryl Pearson

Second Prize

Sugar Thief

by

Catherine Rose

Third Prize

Rabbit and Tortoise Find Each Other On A Window Sill

by

Kay Cotton


2017 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story

Blind Truth

by

Jack Beck

Poetry

Blanche Rose

by

Daphne Warrick


All the Shortlisted stories and poems from this competition year can be found in the

2017 Anthology



Obtain a copy from Amazon

Paperback

Kindle


2016 Competitions

2016 Competition – Judges

Short Story Judge

Toby Litt



The judge for the 2016 Short Story Competition will the author, Toby Litt. Toby has several publications to his name both novels and collections of short stories. Born in Ampthill and a former pupil of Bedford Modern School, Tony is now a lecturer in creative writng at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Poetry Judge

Ian McEwen



The 2016 Poetry Competition will the prize winning poet, Ian McEwen. Ian McEwen has had his poems published in a variety of magazines as well as producing a pamphlet, The Stammering Man and his first full collection in book form, Intermittent beings. He is interested in opportunities to broaden the practice and appreciation of poetry, through readings, workshops or residencies.

Bedford Short Story Judge

Margaret Norwich



Margaret Norwich studied liberal arts at Vassar College, New York. She then came over to England to read English at Girton College, Cambridge. As well as working in publishing and the voluntary sector, Margaret lectured for many years on English Language and Literature at De Montfort and Cranfield Universities. American born Margaret, now regards herself a true Bedfordian.


2016 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
Guitar Strings, People Strings Mike Fox, Richmond, London
How to Handle Space Sherry Morris, Islington, London
It’s Hard being Clark Kent Paul Barnett, Clevedon, Somerset
Paper Hearts Kathy Hoyle, Coventry
Star-Strike Victoria Chadwick, Tamworth, Staffs
Sugartown Valerie Thompson, Leeds, Yorkshire
The Forest Man Mike Fox, Richmond, London
The Losing of Life Nigel Hall, East Dulwich, London
Lifeline Paul Barnett, Clevedon, Somerset
The Worm Richard Salsbury, Denmead, Hampshire
This Here Land Miranda Luby, Kensington, Australia
Trust Mark Thomas, Withington, Manchester
Where Lies The Line Taria Karillion, Chester, Cheshire
Wildfire David Gibson, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

2016 Poetry Competition - Shortlist

Poem title Poet
Apostrophe Lucy Crispin, Kendal, Cumbria
Sepia Mark Totterdell, Exeter, Devon
Last Day of ChildhoodMary Jane Holmes, Lunedale, County Durham
The Pylons are Leaving HomePaul McDonald, Walsall, West Midlands
The Wash Abegail Morley, Cranbrook, Kent
Valerie David Smith, West Hallam, Derbyshire
Stuck – to dad – with AralditeSimon Wrigley, Bedford, Bedfordshire
Moth Kim French, Harrow, London
Unreliable Narrator Abegail Morley, Cranbrook, Kent
Potho Sam Burns, Hoswick, Shetland Islands

2016 Short Story Winners


First Prize

This Here Land

by

Miranda Luby

Second Prize

The Forest Man

by

Mike Fox

Third Prize

The Worm

by

Richard Salsbury

2016 Poetry Winners


First Prize

Lost Day of Childhood

by

Mary-Jane Holmes

Second Prize

The Wash

by

Abegail Morley

Third Prize

Stuck-to Dad-with Araldite

by

Simon Wrigley


2016 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story

The Governor's Visit

by

Louise Barden


All the Shortlisted stories and poems from this competition year can be found in the

2016 Anthology



Obtain a copy from Amazon

Paperback

Kindle


Pictures from the 2016 Awards Evening

Picture Gallery


2015 Competitions

2015 Competition – Judges

Short Story Competition Judge

Leigh Russell



The judge for both the 2014 and 2015 Short Story Competition was the best-selling crime novelist, Leigh Russell. Leigh Russell is the award-winning author of twelve, international best-selling novels. She has a Masters degree in English and American Literature, has taught English in secondary schools and tutored creative writing students.

Bedford Short Story Judge

Margaret Norwich



Margaret Norwich studied liberal arts at Vassar College, New York. She then came over to England to read English at Girton College, Cambridge. As well as working in publishing and the voluntary sector, Margaret lectured for many years on English Language and Literature at De Montfort and Cranfield Universities. American born Margaret, now regards herself a true Bedfordian.


2015 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
Longing to be Legal Nigel Hall, East Dulwich, London
The Death of You Craig Whyte, Kensington Park, Australia
Where the White Poppies Grow Paul Barnett, Clevedon, Somerset
Apology to a Dead Nightingale Christine Tennent, Milton Keyes, Buckinghamshire
From Atlanta to the Sea Mike Deller, Greenford, Greater London
TORNASSUK Julie Hayman, Bath, Somerset
Terms and Conditions Louise Barden, Bedford, Bedfordshire
Honeymooners 1918 Tracy-Ann Neville, Comberton, Cambridgeshire
While You Were Away Dianne Bown-Wilson, Exeter, Devon
The Last Run Robert Smith, Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire
Roller Coaster Richard Buxton, Worthing, West Sussex
Fifty Seconds Vanessa Wildenstein, Pikemi, Greece
Imbecile Craig Whyte, Kensington Park, Australia
A Little Luck Jo Derrick, Rugby, Warwickshire

2015 Short Story Winners


First Prize

Roller Coaster

by

Richard Buxton

Second Prize

Terms and Conditions

by

Louise Barden

Third Prize

A Little Luck

by

Jo Derrick


2015 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story

From Delhi to Bedford

by

Michele Callard


All the Shortlisted stories from this competition year can be found in the

2015 Anthology



Obtain a copy from Amazon

Paperback

Kindle


Pictures from the 2015 Awards Evening

Beanstalk charity presentation.

Short Story presentation and reading.

Bedford Prize Story presentation and reading.

Interview with Short Story winner - Richard Buxton


2014 Competition

2014 Competition – Judges

Short Story Competition Judge

Leigh Russell



The judge for both the 2014 and 2015 Short Story Competition was the best-selling crime novelist, Leigh Russell. Leigh Russell is the award-winning author of twelve, international best-selling novels. She has a Masters degree in English and American Literature, has taught English in secondary schools and tutored creative writing students.


2014 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
Lures Liz Kershaw, Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Telling the Bees Helen Morris, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire
Jen's Gallery Bruce Harris, Seaton, Devon
Rising Tide Mike Watson, Darlington, Co Durham
The Hum Josie Turner, Hitchin, Hertfordshire
Killing Me Softly Alison Sadler, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
The Boy with the Magic Fingers Lucy Bignall, Pullenvale, Australia
Rook Anna Orridge, Croydon, Greater London
The Authority Justine Budenz, Stoke Newington, London
Fergal's First Gig Mike Fox, Richmond, Greater London

2014 Short Story Winners


First Prize

Lures

by

Liz Kershaw

Second Prize

Fergal's First Gig

by

Mike Fox

Third Prize

The Boy with Magic Fingers

by

Lucy Bignall


All the Shortlisted stories from this competition year can be found in the

2014 Anthology



Obtain a copy from Amazon

Paperback

Kindle


Pictures from the 2014 Awards Evening

Winning story Lures is read

Short Story Competition winners announced

The Mayor presents cheques to charity

Interview with the wining author - Liz Kershaw


Acknowledgements


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