Northern Writers’ Awards 2020: winners announced

Posted by

Twenty-six writers from a record 1800 entrants have received awards worth over £45,000 to support their unpublished work-in-progress in this year’s Northern Writers’ Awards.

This year is the 21st anniversary of the Northern Writers’ Awards, founded by New Writing North.

The Northern Writers’ Awards recognise talent and support new work towards publication or broadcast by offering mentoring, developmental support and cash awards to writers at all stages of their careers.

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

Particularly during this very challenging time, we’re delighted that we can make these awards to support writers in the North of England. We look forward to working with the awardees and our awards partners throughout the year.


The list of 2020 winners in full is:

Northern Writers’ Awards for Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction

Susan Barker

Ruqaya Izzidien

Rebecca Muddiman


Northern Writers’ Awards for Poetry

Jennifer Lee Tsai

Suzannah V Evans

Hannah Hodgson

Polly Atkin

Fokkina McDonnell


Hachette Children’s Novel Award

Hannah Durkan


NorthBound Book Award

John D Rutter


Northern Debut Awards

Ruksana Abdul-Majid

Victoria Bennett

Gaynor Jones


TLC Free Reads Scheme

Mark Holmes

Dani Watson


The Sid Chaplin Award

Winner: Jodie Russian-Red

Highly Commended: Sarah Tarbit


Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award

Andrew Wilkinson


Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Bonafide Films

Samantha Neale


Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Lime Pictures

Jenna Campbell


Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award

Sally Tottle


Arvon Award

Naomi Kelsey


Young Northern Writer Award

Winner: Katie Wilson

Highly Commended: Naomi Thomas, Wambui Hardcastle


Matthew Hale Award

Jessica de Beer


Read about all of our winners on the Northern Writers’ Awards site

Judges for this year’s awards include the writers Naomi Booth, Vahni Capildeo, Mitch Johnson and Amy Liptrot; literary agent Chloe Seager, from the Madeleine Milburn Agency; and editors Kris Doyle, from Picador, and Kate Agar from Hachette Children’s Books.


The Northern Writers’ Awards 2020 were produced by New Writing North with support from the following organisations:

Headline supporters: Northumbria University and Arts Council England

Award partners: Channel 4, Hachette Children’s Group, Newcastle University, All3Media

Literature and broadcast supporters: Arvon, The Literary Consultancy, Oneworld Publications, The Society of Authors, The North Literary Agency, Saraband, Bonafide Films, Lime Pictures, Madeleine Milburn Agency and Dead Ink Books.