Announcing the winners of the Northern Writers’ Awards 2018

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Our Northern Writers’ Awards were announced at a ceremony in Newcastle last night, with 26 writers from across the North sharing a £40,000 award fund that includes mentoring, professional development bursaries and cash to buy time to write.

With more than 1400 entries, this year’s awards were the most competitive ever, so our judges – the poet Imtiaz Dharker, literary agent Jonathan Ruppin, and authors Kerry Hudson and Lisa Williamson – had their work cut out for them.

Of judging the fiction and narrative non-fiction categories, Jonathan Ruppin said, “I set up my agency in part to help counteract the London focus of British publishing, so I was delighted to be asked to join the judging team. I was particularly thrilled to work alongside Kerry Hudson, one of my favourite writers and a tireless champion of writers from underrepresented backgrounds. I hope we’re able to encourage writers from the North that there is a growing understanding that their stories are needed to ensure that the British literary scene continues to flourish and remain relevant.”

“We looked at an impressive range of writing — there were stylishly powerful voices and strikingly original narratives. While the winners were outstanding, I do feel we’ve been fortunate to encounter more voices on the shortlist whose craft suggests that they can aspire to seeing their work in the hands of readers sooner or later.”

We hope you will join us in congratulating all of our winners and wishing them luck in achieving their creative ambitions.


Northern Writers’ Awards for Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction
Dima Alzayat, Daughters of Manat (Manchester)
Kit Fan, Diamond Hill (York)
Lucie Brownlee, The Song of Annie Chapman (Co. Durham)

Northern Writers’ Awards for Poetry
Elizabeth Barrett, Fall (Sheffield)
Eleanor Rees, The Well at Winter Solstice (Liverpool)
Clare Shaw, Towards a General Theory of Love (Hebden Bridge)
Helen Mort, Failsafe (Sheffield)
Lindsey Holland, Hauntings (Ormskirk)

Northern Writers’ Awards for Children’s and Young Adult Fiction
Edward Baker, Nightflights (Sheffield)
Emma Hill, Baby Girl (Stockport)
Jennifer Lane, The Second Hand Boy (Manchester)

The Northern Book Prize
Amy Arnold, Slip of a Fish (Windermere)

TLC Free Reads Scheme
Rahila Hussain, untitled (Huddersfield)
Caroline Murphy, Totality (Newcastle)
Dan Robinson, The Two Ys (Leeds)
Danny Marshall, Radio Silence (Calderdale)

Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award
Laura Steven, Creatia (Newcastle)

Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television Awards – Television Drama
Taiba Amla, P.O.E.T.S (Lancashire)

Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television Awards – Serial Drama
Luke Delaney, wins an attachment to Hollyoaks (Salford)

Word Factory Apprentice Award
Sharon Telfer, The Earth Sheltering (Pocklington)

Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award
Marian Smith, Answers to Absolutely Every Question (Warrington)

Arvon Award
Iain Rowan, Going Under (Sunderland)

Cuckoo Young Writers Award
Winner: Allison Birt (Newcastle)
Highly Commended: Dite Bagdonaite (Sefton) and Georgie Woodhead (Sheffield)

Matthew Hale Award
Scarlet Clayton (Bradford)