27 writers share £55,000 award fund at Northern Writers’ Awards

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We are hugely excited to announce the winners of the Northern Writers’ Awards 2019.

The 2019 judges included the poet Don Paterson; publisher Ellah Wakatama Allfrey; editor Helen Thomas; literary agents Mark Stanton and Jo Unwin; novelists Sita Brahmachari and Carmen Marcus; and journalists Richard Benson and Chitra Ramaswamy.

With close to 1600 entrants, 2019 was the most competitive year yet for the programme and our judges really had their work cut out for them.

There are several new awards in 2019, including the Hachette Children’s Novel Award, which was awarded to James Harris from Middlesbrough. James wins an advance of £5000 as part of a publishing contract with Hachette Children’s Books.

Another new award is the NorthBound Book Award, which is sponsored by University of Central Lancashire, and which was awarded to Juliana Mensah from Gateshead. Juliana wins £5000 plus publication with Saraband.

Also new to the awards this year is the Sid Chaplin Award, which is supported by the family of Sid Chaplin, the North Literary Agency and Newcastle University. The award was open to working-class writers and has been awarded to Lyndsey Skinner from Newcastle to support the completion of her first novel, Snowflake, which explores what it means to be a working-class millennial.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

The list of 2019 winners in full is:

Northern Writers’ Awards for Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction: Tara Guha

Northern Writers’ Awards for Poetry: Rommi Smith; Sam Buchan-Watts; Penny Boxall

Hachette Children’s Novel Award: James Harris

NorthBound Book Award: Juliana Mensah

New North Poets programme: Penny Newell; Freya Jackson; Charlotte Wetton; Sarah Wimbush

Northern Debut Awards: Catharine Johnson; Jane Bradley; Leigh Goodall

TLC Free Reads Scheme: Eirinie Lapidaki; Shaun Wilson; Julie Noble

The Sid Chaplin Award: Winner: Lyndsey Skinner; Highly Commended: Christopher Fallow

Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award: Allison Adkins

Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Bonafide Films Adam Bennett-Lea

Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Lime Pictures: Joshua Halm

Word Factory Apprentice Award: Melissa Wan

Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award: Sarah Corbett

Arvon Award: Sarah Dunnakey

Young Northern Writer Award: Winner: Ciah White; Highly Commended: Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith

Matthew Hale Award: Matthew Schofield

About the Northern Writers’ Awards 

The Northern Writers’ Awards exist to recognise talent and support new work towards publication or broadcast, with £55,000 worth of awards for writers at different stages of their careers, including mentoring, developmental support and cash awards to buy time to write.

They are the largest writer development programme in England with an enviable track record of success; previous winners include the novelists Benjamin Myers and Yvonne Battle-Felton, children’s authors Chloe Daykin and Laura Steven, and poets Andrew McMillan and Zaffar Kunial.

The Northern Writers’ Awards have run since 2000 and are supported by Arts Council England and Northumbria University along with a host of publishing, media and higher education partners including Channel 4, Hachette Children’s Group and the University of Central Lancashire.

The Northern Writers’ Awards 2020 will open in November 2019. Find out more at