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2023 Competitions

2023 Competition – Judges

Short Story

Tim Jarvis

Timothy J. Jarvis is a writer of supernatural fiction. He grew up in north Bedfordshire, and now lives back in Bedford. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University. His 'last man' novel, The Wanderer, was first published in 2014 (Perfect Edge) and was reprinted in a new edition in 2022 (Zagava). Short-fiction has appeared in Harvard Review, Infra Noir, Bitter Distillations, An Invite to Eternity,The Far Tower: Stories for W.B. Yeats, The Shadow Booth Vol. 1, 3:AM Magazine, Leviathan 4: Cities, and New Writing 13, among other places. He is a member of the committee of the Friends of Arthur Machen, a society dedicated to the life and works of the Welsh author of the fantastic, and co-edits the Friends' journal, Faunus.

Poetry

Kirsten Norrie

MacGillivray is the matrilineal pen and performance name of poet, musician and artist Kirsten Norrie. The author of four collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe in the UK and Red Hen in the US, she has made nine records, working with producer and musician James Young (Nico, John Cale) and her music features in the soundtracks of three films by avant-garde British director Andrew Kötting. She makes a literary appearance as a cameo in Iain Sinclair's writing and worked with cinematographer Anonymous Bosch to write and direct a Gaelic short film, returning to the Isle of Skye to shoot on location with funding from Creative Scotland. Trained at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University, she writes, performs and composes using Scots, Gaelic and English with French for her 2022 album derived from the poetry of Mary Queen of Scots, released on Antigen Records. In 2018, she raised funds to visit the great grandson of Sitting Bull to make the recording The Last Wolf of Scotland. In November 2023, Bloodaxe will publish her fourth collection based on Norwegian-Shetlandic poet Kristján Norge who vanished from Eilean a' Bhàis in 1961. She has taught at Oxford, the ECA and the Royal College of Art and directs the Oxford School of Poetry. See more on her website.

Cygnature Story Prize Judge

J S Watts

J.S.Watts is a British poet and novelist who weaves the fantastical and the literary with other vibrant strands to create glowing, multi-faceted writing. Originally from London, she now lives in Cambridgeshire.

Her poetry, short stories and non-fiction appear in a wide variety of publications in Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the States and have been broadcast on BBC and Independent Radio. She has edited various magazines and anthologies and performed her poetry across England, Scotland and Wales, but not yet in Ireland (should anyone from Ireland be reading this). Along the way, she has won various awards and had honourable mentions in others, but nothing so outstanding that she wants to make a big thing out of it. .

J.S.'s three poetry collections, Cats and Other Myths, Years Ago You Coloured Me and Underword, are published by Lapwing Publications, as is her multi-award nominated SF poetry pamphlet, Songs of Steelyard Sue. Her poetry pamphlet, The Submerged Sea, was published by Dempsey & Windle. Her novels, A Darker Moon- dark fiction, Witchlight, Old Light and Elderlight - an urban fantasy trilogy, are published in the US and UK by Vagabondage Press

For further details see her website: www.jswatts.co.uk

Cygnature Poetry Prize Judge

Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies is from Merseyside via Edinburgh and London, but has lived in Bedford for over 20 years.

She has always written poetry and is a firm believer in its ability to communicate and give access to all voices.

Sarah has helped run Bedford poetry night Ouse Muse for several years.

Sarah has been published in a wide range of poetry publications, been shortlisted for poetry prizes and is working on a collection.

Bedford Story Prize Judge

Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes retired from teaching secondary school English Language and Literature in Bedford in 2019. He has been a keen attender of poetry and cultural events in north Beds, and chairs Poetry Café monthly, in succession to the late Richard Hancock. The group has seen four compilation volumes edited by Paul in 2021-22. He writes occasional poetry and prose, co-runs the monthly Read Poets Society, helps in two local bookshops, and is a fanatic for cricket umpiring and Shakespeare, The Place Theatre, the Rothsay Education Centre, and the Campaign for Real Ale.

Bedford Poetry Prize Judge

Liam Coles

Liam Coles is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge. His project focuses on sound and religiosity in twentieth-century US poetry. He researches how poetic sound forms can interrelate with cognitive understandings of consciousness, and traces an historic lineage from pulpit to lectern heard in the voicings of American poets during performance. He secured a scholarship for his master's degree at the University of Oxford (2017-18), where he wrote mainly on nineteenth-century religious poetry, including the work of the Rossetti siblings and Keats. He has a first-class BA in English Literature from the University of Bristol (2013-16), and his undergraduate dissertation concerned the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Born and raised in Bedford, Liam now lives in London and enjoys cooking and nature, but poetry is his real joy, and outside of his academic work he loves to discover writers he has not yet heard of!


2023 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
All BusinessJames Watson Axminster
Church GoingVictoria Stewart Liverpool
A dying breedTony Durrant Sedbergh
HideChris Belson Bedford
Home TurfJoy Clews Snitterby
Inner LoopJosie Turner Tonbridge
I Wanted to be a Blues ManDavid Joseph El Segundo, United States of America
JoeyIsaac Hogarth Sydney Australia
A Song from a Different RoomGwen Williams Llanfairfechan
StarfishSheila Killian Ballyneety, Ireland
Sunday MorningDell Kaniper Oaxaca de Juarez Mexico
Thomas and WillFelicity Reid Coryton

2023 Poetry Competition - Shortlist


Poem title Poet
A RIVER RUNNING SHALLOWKevin SmithMaleny, Australia
Ars Poetica: 6pmLouise WalkerLondon, UK
Autumn WindJeanette BurneyTexas, USA
COLOR BLINDGina ShafferLaguan Woods, USA
Counter mealsStephanie PowellMelbourne, AustraliaSecond
End of an AfternoonDonald WildmanCary, USA
HomecomingAmy Levitin GraverBramford, USA
Life in a Hammershøi Painting:Lois P JonesSouth Pasadena, USA
MythologyBen VerinderTring, UK
Ode to a Chimú Pot Mark FiddesDubbai, United Arab EmiratesThird
OtsuchiBen VerinderTring, UK
PANTOUM (after Béla Tarr)Ben HowardLeeds, UKFirst



2023 Short Story Winners


First Prize

Joey

by

Isaac Hogarth

Second Prize

Church Going

by

Victoria Stewart

Third Prize

Inner Loop

by

Josie Turner

2023 Poetry Winners


First Prize

Pantoum

by

Ben Howard

Second Prize

Counter Meals

by

Stephanie Powell

Third Prize

Ode to a Chimú Pot

by

Mark Fiddes


2023 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story

The Truffle Hunters

by

Lucia Wilde

Poetry


2023 Young Writers - Prize winners

Short Story

One Last Dream

by

Daniel Key

Poetry

Ashur Acha Iddina

by

Adam Ali-Hassan


2022 Competitions

2022 Competition – Judges

Short Story Competition Judge

Tim Jarvis

Timothy J. Jarvis is a writer of supernatural fiction. He grew up in north Bedfordshire, and now lives back in Bedford. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Bedfordshire. His 'last man' novel, The Wanderer, was first published in 2014 (Perfect Edge) and is coming out in a new edition in 2022 (Zagava). Short-fiction has appeared in the Harvard Review, Infra Noir, Bitter Distillations, An Invite to Eternity, The Far Tower: Stories for W.B. Yeats, The Shadow Booth Vol. 1, 3:AM Magazine, Leviathan 4: Cities, and New Writing 13, among other places. In 2012, he was shortlisted for the Lightship International Short Fiction Prize. He is also interested in drone and ambient music and has collaborated with sound artists on sleeve notes and performance. He is a member of the committee of the Friends of Arthur Machen, a society dedicated to the life and works of the Welsh author of the fantastic, and co-edits the Friends' journal, Faunus.

Poetry Competition Judge

Jessica Mookherjee

Jessica Mookherjee is author of two poetry collections and her second, Tigress (Nine Arches Press) was Shortlisted for best second collection in the Ledbury Munthe Prize 2021. She has been twice highly commended in the Forward Prize for best single poem (in 2018 and in 2021) and her work is included in notable anthologies such as 'Staying Human' (Bloodaxe). Her latest pamphlet is Playlists (Broken Sleep Books). Her next full collection is called &Notes from a Shipwreck& and out with Nine Arches Press in August 2022 . Her long poem Desire Lines will be published by Broken Sleep Books in 2023. She is a co-editor of Against the Grain Press and a Board Member of the Poetry Society.

Cygnature Story Prize Judge

Katherine Mezzacappa

Katherine Mezzacappa is Irish but now lives in Carrara, between the Apuan Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea. She writes mainly historical fiction on the themes of love and culture clash. Writing as Katie Hutton, she is the author of >The Gypsy Bride (2020), The Gypsy's Daughter (2021) and Annie of Ainsworth's Mill (2022) published by Bonnier Zaffre. Her first novel under her own name, The Virgin of Florence, is in press with Impress Books for September 2022.

Katherine's short fiction has been published by The Copperfield Review, Ireland's Own, Erotic Review, Me First, Asymmetry, Ariel Chart, Turnpike Review, Yours and My Weekly and in anthologies. She also writes romance under the pseudonym Kate Zarrelli (eXtasy Books). Her stories have been shortlisted in competitions by The Writers and Artists Yearbook and The Fiction Desk, and longlisted for the 2018 Colm Tóibín Short Story Award and in 2019 for the Dorothy Dunnett prize. She has also published academically in the field of 19th century ephemeral illustrated fiction, and in management theory.

Whilst Katherine currently earns a living in management consultancy, which pays the bills but doesn't nourish the soul, she has in the past been a museum curator, library assistant, lecturer in History of Art, sewing machinist and geriatric care assistant. In her spare time she volunteers with a second-hand book charity of which she is a founder member. She has two teenage sons and a husband who fortunately enjoys cooking.

Katherine is a member of the Irish Writers Centre, Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann, the Irish Writers Union, the Society of Authors, the Historical Writers' Association, the Historical Novel Society and the Romantic Novelists Association, and reviews for Historical Novel Review. She is a manuscript assessor for The Literary Consultancy. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Canterbury Christ Church University, and is represented by Annette Green Authors' Agency.

Cygnature Poetry Prize Judge

Cameron Stuart

Cameron Stuart is a poet originally from, and now back residing in, Bedford. He attended the Poetry MFA at Saint Mary's College of California, and has taught writing at SMC and Berkeley. He is the recipient of Judith Butler and Community of Writers scholarships.

Bedford Story Prize Judge

Guy Russell

Guy Russell was born in Chatham, UK, and has been a holiday courier, purchasing clerk, media analyst and fan-heater production operative. He currently works in Milton Keynes for the Open University. Work in No Spider Harmed (Arachne Press), Somewhere This Way (Fiction Desk), Brace (Comma Press), To Hull And Back 2018, Madame Morte (Black Shuck), Northern Stories vol. 3 (Arc), Troubles Swapped For Something Fresh (Salt), The Iron Book of New Humorous Verse (Iron), Liars League, The Rialto, The Interpreter's House and elsewhere. Competition first prizes: HE Bates Award; Leicester Poetry Society; Ware Sonnet Prize; Cannon Sonnet or Not; Flash500. He occasionally reviews for Tears in the Fence and its blog.

Bedford Poetry prize Judge

Liam Coles

Liam Coles is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge. His project focuses on sound and religiosity in twentieth-century US poetry. He researches how poetic sound forms can interrelate with cognitive understandings of consciousness, and traces an historic lineage from pulpit to lectern heard in the voicings of American poets during performance. He secured a scholarship for his master's degree at the University of Oxford (2017-18), where he wrote mainly on nineteenth-century religious poetry, including the work of the Rossetti siblings and Keats. He has a first-class BA in English Literature from the University of Bristol (2013-16), and his undergraduate dissertation concerned the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Born and raised in Bedford, Liam now lives in London and enjoys cooking and nature, but poetry is his real joy, and outside of his academic work he loves to discover writers he has not yet heard of!


2022 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
Fish KnifeJuna Bine - New York, NY, USA
One ShotDavid Butler - Bray Ireland
Most LikelyClaire Gleeson - Dublin, Ireland
At the StepwellAnita Goodfellow - Marlow, England
The Oboe PlayerJuliet Hill - Madrid, Spain
Six Foot TrackDavid Shelley Jones - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Pietersen in the Black CountryAndrew Kingston - Luton, England
Sacred ArrowJudy Koot - Utrecht, Netherlands
StargazingJohn Langan - Caterham, England
Bog SummerJeanAnn Pollard - Winslow, Maine, USA
ChattelsDiana Powell - Haverford West, Wales
I Can't Hear YouMatt Thomas - Manchester, England

2022 Poetry Competition - Shortlist

Poem title Poet
from the dark sideLinda Burnett - Mansfield, England
Emptying your wardrobesLucy Crispin - Wray, England
My mothers watchNorman Goodwin - Seattle, WA, USA
Sweet Briar Plantation Burial GroundMatt Hohner - Baltimore, MO, USA
The Ancestors Get Questions About Your DNA Test ResultsG.R. Kramer - Alexandria, VA, USA
Sous Les EtoilesHarry Lowery - Gateshead, England
When I was Anna PavlovaMary Mulholland - London, England
The beesDamen O'Brien - Wynnum, QLD, Australia
On a Cold Day in New OrleansGriff Plaag - New Orleans, LA, USA
The Daughter You Almost HadRicky Ray - Danbury, CT, USA
When your Jamaican Grandmother Sings to YouLaura Ross - Mount Dora, FL, USA
Seducing Tom Jones at the Travelodge in SloughDi Slaney - Bilsthorpe,, England



2022 Short Story Winners


First Prize

Six Foot Track

by

David Shelley Jones

Second Prize

Chattels

by

Diana Powell

Third Prize

Bog Summer

by

Jean Ann Pollard

2022 Poetry Winners


First Prize

The Bees

by

Damen O'Brien

Second Prize

On a Cold Day in New Orleans

by

G H Plaag

Third Prize

My Mother's Watch

by

Norman Goodwin


2022 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story

Troubled Nights

by

Jesse Perrin

Poetry

Holy

by

Lucia Wilde


2022 Young Writers - Prize winners

Short Story

Poetry

Short Cycle

by

Scott Lilley


2021 Competitions

2021 Competition – Judges

Short Story Competition Judge

Patrick McGuinness

Patrick McGuinness is a poet and novelist, and Professor of French at the University of Oxford. His first novel, The Last Hundred Days (2011), was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, the Writers Club First Novel Award, and winner of the Writers Guild Award for Fiction and the Wales Book of the Year. In French, it was shortlisted for both the Prix Meedicis étranger and the Priz Fémina étranger, and won the Prix de la librairie Millepages and the Premier Roman étranger.

Poetry Competition Judge

Anne Berkeley

Anne Berkeley's poems have been published widely and have won prizes in many competitions including the Times Literary Supplement, Arvon, Kent & Sussex. Her first collection The Men from Praga (Salt) was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre prize. She has performed round England and Wales and in New York with the poetry ensemble The Joy of Six. She edited Rebecca Elson's acclaimed posthumous collection A Responsibility to Awe, now re-issued as a Carcanet Classic.

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Bedford Short Story Prize

Guy Russell

Guy Russell was born in Chatham, UK, and has been a holiday courier, purchasing clerk, media analyst and fan-heater production operative. He currently works in Milton Keynes for the Open University. Work in No Spider Harmed (Arachne Press), Somewhere This Way (Fiction Desk), Brace (Comma Press), To Hull And Back 2018, Madame Morte (Black Shuck), Northern Stories vol. 3 (Arc), Troubles Swapped For Something Fresh (Salt), The Iron Book of New Humorous Verse (Iron), Liars League, The Rialto, The Interpreter's House and elsewhere. Competition first prizes: HE Bates Award; Leicester Poetry Society; Ware Sonnet Prize; Cannon Sonnet or Not; Flash500. He occasionally reviews for Tears in the Fence and its blog.

Bedford Poetry Prize Judge

Simon Wrigley

Simon taught English in secondary schools (1973-1994) before becoming chair of the national association (NATE) 2004-2006. He advised on English teaching in schools in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, 1994-2013. In 2009, he co-founded and directed a national project for writing teachers: National Writing Project. He co-wrote Introducing Teachers' Writing Groups, published by Routledge in 2015. From 2019 - 2021 he is serving on the Young Poets Stories Advisory Board as part of poetry writing development research led by Exeter and Nottingham Trent Universities. He runs a community writing group in Bedford, paints and sells his artwork to raise money for local charity:
Simon Wrigley Artwork

Cygnature Short Story Prize Judge

Katherine Mezzacappa

Katherine Mezzacappa is Irish but now lives in Carrara, between the Apuan Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea. She writes mainly historical fiction on the themes of love and culture clash. Writing as Katie Hutton, she is the author of The Gypsy Bride (2020) and The Gypsy's Daughter (2021), published by Bonnier Zaffre. Her first novel under her own name, Giulia of the Albizzi, is in press with Impress Books.

Katherine's short fiction has been published by The Copperfield Review, Ireland's Own, Erotic Review, Me First, Asymmetry, Ariel Chart, Turnpike Review, Yours and My Weekly and in anthologies. She also writes romance under the pseudonym Kate Zarrelli (eXtasy Books). Her stories have been shortlisted in competitions by The Writers and Artists Yearbook and The Fiction Desk, and longlisted for the 2018 Colm Tóibín Short Story Award and in 2019 for the Dorothy Dunnett prize. She has also published academically in the field of 19th century ephemeral illustrated fiction, and in management theory.

Whilst Katherine currently earns a living in management consultancy, which pays the bills but doesn't nourish the soul, she has in the past been a museum curator, library assistant, lecturer in History of Art, sewing machinist and geriatric care assistant. In her spare time she volunteers with a second-hand book charity of which she is a founder member. She has two teenage sons and a husband who fortunately enjoys cooking.

Katherine is a member of the Irish Writers Centre, Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann, the Irish Writers Union, the Society of Authors, the Historical Writers' Association, the Historical Novel Society and the Romantic Novelists Association, and reviews for Historical Novel Review. She is a manuscript assessor for The Literary Consultancy. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Canterbury Christ Church University, and is represented by Annette Green Authors' Agency.

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Cygnature Poetry Prize Judge

Cameron Stuart

Cameron Stuart is a poet originally from, and now back residing in, Bedford. He attended the Poetry MFA at Saint Mary's College of California, and has taught writing at SMC and Berkeley. He is the recipient of Judith Butler and Community of Writers scholarships.


2021 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
The End of Love-LongingSerena Alagappan - Oxford
Lightning GirlElen Lee Lewis - Twickenham
PassepartoutGem Newman - Winnipeg, Canada
The Heehaw DogGill Heriz - Palgrave
The RainsGavin O'Toole - Carshalton
The Fifty-Nine Second WatchAlastair Chisholm - Edinburgh
ClaraChris Humphrey - Selsey
Go, Judy, Go!, Judy, Go!David Shelley Jones - Sydney, Australia
A Gradual ThingDiana Powell - Haverfordwest
ReleasedBruce Harris - Seaton
The Rescue DogDavid Butler - Bray, Ireland
Whispers in ColourMichael Ranes - Maidenhead, Berks

2021 Poetry Competition - Shortlist

Poem title Poet
Biding our timeSusan Gully - Lisburn, Belfast
The BiologistJennifer Harrison - Windsor, VIC Australia
EggMichaela Coplen - Finsbury Park, London
ExaminationAnne Casey - Northberidge, NSW Austrakia
HalloweenVanessa Lampert - Wallingford, Oxfordshire
HitchhikerNicholas Hogg - Leicester, Leics
In Memory of my father: UpholstererPhilip Dunn - Nannerch, Flintshire
MotherlandJenny Mitchell - Brixton Hill, London
Penelope's Perspective: Cutting Up the Bed to Offer Him Olive BranchesFreya Bantiff - Ecclesall, Sheffield
Snow DayMarie-Louise Eyres - Bethesda, Maryland
SoarJim Green - Norwich, Norfolk
ViewMichaela Coplen - Finsbury Park, London



2021 Short Story Winners


First Prize

Passepartout

by

Gem Newman

Second Prize

The Rains

by

Gavin O'Toole

Third Prize

A Gradual Thing

by

Diana Powell

2021 Poetry Winners


First Prize

Motherland

by

Jenny Mitchell

Third Prize

Halloween

by

Vanessa Lampert


2021 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story

Shaken

by

Monica Hetherington

Poetry

As A Child

by

Peter Chalker


2021 Young Writers - Prize winners

Short Story

Every Room, Every Wall

by

Eamonn McKeon

Poetry


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

2021 Anthology



Obtain a copy from Ostrich Books


Paperback edition


Images from the 2021 awards


2020 Competitions

2020 Competition – Judges

Short Story Competition Judge

Jordan Lees

After graduating with an MA in Literature, Jordan joined The Blair Partnership, literary agents for many renowned authors including J.K. Rowling, in 2016 and was made an Associate Agent in 2020. His reading tastes are wide-ranging and as an agent predominantly represents literary fiction, reading group fiction and crime and thrillers, as well as some non-fiction.

Poetry Competition Judge

Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders is the author of several books of poetry, most recently Nominy-Dominy (Two Rivers Press 2018) - 'a feature of this collection is its sheer ease with and celebration of language itself' (Martin Malone, The Interpreter's House). Lesley was joint winner of the inaugural Manchester Poetry Prize and one of the winners of the 2017 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. In 2016, Lesley won the Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation with her English version of a poem by the acclaimed Portuguese poet Maria Teresa Horta; Lesley's latest book, Point of Honour (Two Rivers Press 2019), pays homage to the radical and erotic work of Horta - who celebrated her 82nd birthday in May 2019 - with nearly 100 translated poems. Lesley leads writing workshops and undertakes poetry mentoring; she has performed her work at festivals and on the radio, and worked on collaborative projects and productions with visual artists, musicians, composers and dancers as well as other poets - most recently with Philip Gross in A Part of the Main (Mulfran Press 2018)

Bedford Short Story Prize Judge

Neil Beardmore

In the Nineties Neil won the Sussex Playwrights Award and The Richard Burton Poetry Competition, going on later to take an MA in Creative Writing specialising in Poetry and Novel writing. Two plays Pristine in Blue and A View Of Glass Mountains were professionally performed recently and in 2017 his novel Lemon Seas was published. Neil's poems have appeared in The Cannon's Mouth, Erbacce, Dreamcatcher, The French Literary Review and many other magazines. Having had poetry published in Orbis, he has recently had a short story, Key Notes published in the magazine.

Bedford Poetry Prize Judge

Steve Kendall

Steve Kendall is a graduate of the Newcastle University / Poetry School MA in Writing Poetry. He is a co-host of the Bedford reading series 'Ouse Muse' and convenor of the North Beds and Milton Keynes Stanza. His work has most recently appeared in Strix and Magma.

Young Writers' Short Story Award Judge

Stephen Bywater

Stephen Bywater joined the merchant navy at sixteen before going on to study English at university. After graduating he taught in South and Central America for three years, returning to the UK to complete an MLitt at St Andrews. For the past twenty years he has taught English in Bedford, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He is the author of two novels, The Devil's Ark and Night of the Damned (published by Headline/Hachette), and is currently working on his third.

Young Writers' Poetry Award Judge

Cameron Stuart

Cameron Stuart is a poet originally from, and now back residing in, Bedford. He attended the Poetry MFA at Saint Mary's College of California, and has taught writing at SMC and Berkeley. He is the recipient of Judith Butler and Community of Writers scholarships.

Rainbow Short Story Prize Judge

Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell is the author of twenty-one crime novels, including the Geraldine Steel series which has sold over a million books. Shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award, long listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library, she is Chair of the CWA Debut Dagger Judges and Co-ordinator for the CWA Critiques. She was a Finalist for the People's Book Prize, and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Find out more about Leigh from her website.


2020 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
MangataChristopher Baker - Oxford
MongrelRobert Carter - STOCKTON NSW, Australia
Selfish Kisses and Early PolaroidsJames Woolf - London
Beaconssophie holland - Bristol
Her Unused SmileSarah Dawson - Tunbridge Wells
Silver BirdDavid Shelley Jones - SYDNEY, Australia
White AngelPaul Chiswick - Birmingham
The Life and Times of Sam the Wanderer as the End of Days ApproachesAnya Christiansen - Auckland, New Zealand
Onassis and HoxhaJuliet Hill - Madrid, Spain
TracesAmanda Hildebrandt - Caulfield North VIC, Australia
Tell us a bit about yourselfDavid Shelley Jones - SYDNEY, Australia
Broken BloodPauline (HUGHES) PLUMMER - North Shields

2020 Poetry Competition - Shortlist

Poem title Poet
Clarifying the protection of birds legislationVanessa Lampert - Wallingford
Jenny WrenBen Verinder - Tring
Lost GirlsFederica Peru - Frosinone-FR, Italy
Calling my motherAnne Casey - Northbridge, Australia
The Promised LandMaia Béar - London
if I had a lodger I could explainTamsin Hopkins - London
Toy Mouse, Discovered at Vindolanda Roman Fort, May 2020Isabella Mead - Wendover
HymnHarriet Sanders - Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
Manarola - final night - no cameraHan Smith - Bromley
Every Black History MonthWura Arisekola - Portarlington, Ireland
Passing and meetingMolly Underwood - London
A Short Film About LoveJoseph Kidney - Palo Alto, United States of America



2020 Short Story Winners


First Prize

MÃ¥ngata

by

Chris Barkley

Second Prize

Beacons

by

Sophie Holland

2020 Poetry Winners


Second Prize

Passing and Meeting

by

Molly Underwood

Third Prize

Hymn

by

Harriet Sanders

2020 Rainbow Prize Winners


First Prize

Memories from Muskwa Creek

by

Shirlee Matheson

Second Prize

A Different Version

by

Janet Newman

Third Prize

Starlings

by

Norma Allen


2020 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story

Barates and My Father

by

Fran Maciver

Poetry

October

by

Maya Abraham-Steele


2020 Young Writers - Prize winners

Short Story

Black Bin Bags

by

Kirsten Udall

Poetry

Mi Duende Muerde

by

Alba Alonso


Images from the 2020 awards