Northern Writer of the Year Award
Chaz Brenchley has been making a living as a writer since he was eighteen. He is the author of nine thrillers, most recently Shelter and two fantasy series, The Books of Outremer and Selling Water by the River. As Daniel Fox he has published a Chinese-based fantasy series, beginning with Dragon in Chains, as Ben Macallan, an urban fantasy, Desdæmona.
A British Fantasy Award winner, he has also published books for children and more than 500 short stories in various genres. His time as crimewriter-in-residence on a sculpture project in Sunderland resulted in the collection Blood Waters. His first play, A Cold Coming, was performed and then toured in 2007. He is a prizewinning ex-poet, and has been writer in residence at the University of Northumbria. He was Northern Writer of the Year 2000.
Chaz has recently married and moved from Newcastle to California, with two squabbling cats and a famous teddy bear.
Shelter (Hodder, 1999)
Dragon in Chains (Del Rey Books, 2009)
Desdæmona (Solaris, 2011)
Time to Write Awards
S.J. Litherland, born and bred in Warwickshire, has lived in Durham City since 1965. Her seventh collection, Composition in White, was published by Smokestack Books in October 2017. A lifelong socialist, she looks back from the start of her ninth decade to her love of England and cricket, her working-class roots in the heart of the Midlands in the war and the enduring lure of Bohemianism.
Flambard Press published her three previous collections: The Absolute Bonus of Rain (2010) which began her state-of-the-nation inquiry into a forgotten England; The Work of the Wind (2006) which charts her turbulent relationship with fellow poet and partner Barry MacSweeney who died in 2000; and her feminist view of love, The Apple Exchange (1999). In 2006 Iron Press published The Homage, a poetry-cricket sequence about the last season of former England captain Nasser Hussain which was nominated for Cricket Book of the Year. Earlier publications include: Flowers of Fever (Iron, 1992), and The Long Interval (Bloodaxe, 1986).
Bad Light from The Homage was selected for sports anthology Not Just a Game (Five Leaves Press, 2006) and broadcast on Radio 3 in the Words and Music series. Her poems have been commended twice in the National Poetry Competition: ‘Songster’ (from the sonnet sequence in The Work of the Wind) in 2003 and Springtime of the Nations (about the survival of revolutionary spirit) in 2012.
In 2011 a poem from The Apple Exchange was selected for The Forward Book of Poetry. She won a Northern Arts Award in 1994 for a month at Annaghmakkerig, the Irish residential Centre for Artists and Writers.
Her enthusiasm for cricket has taken her on England Test tours to the West Indies, Australia and Sri Lanka. She is a member of Durham CCC and a founding member of the Vane Women writers’ collective.
Her poetry has been translated into Russian, French, Spanish and Mallorquin.
Composition in White (Smokestack, 2017)
The Absolute Bonus of Rain (Flambard, 2010)
The Homage (Iron, 2006)
The Work of the Wind (Flambard, 2006)
Andrew Waterhouse was born in Lincolnshire in 1958 and died in October 2001. He lived in Northumberland where he worked as a teacher and a freelance writer. He won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2000 for In. A second volume, 2nd, featuring poems Andrew was gathering into a collection at the time of his death, was published in 2002.
In (The Rialto, 2000)
2nd (The Rialto, 2002)
Margaret Wilkinson’s stage plays include Queen Bee, a contemporary Gothic produced by the North East Theatre Consortium; Thirty Minutes to Curtain, Herr Mahler, a drama based on the letters of Gustav Mahler, produced by the BBC and performed live at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Kaput, inspired by the short stories of Anton Chekhov and Raymond Carver, produced by Northern Stage; Pandora’s Box, a joint production with Kneehigh Theatre Company and Northern Stage; and The Tiger’s Bride for Northern Stage. Her five-part radio dramas, Out of the Ashes and Passover, were broadcast on BBC Radio 4; as were her afternoon dramas, Can You Hear Me? and I Decided to Kill My Brother-in-Law After Dinner; and her Saturday drama, I Married a Marxist.
In 2012, she returned to North East theatres with modern gothic thriller Blue Boy, directed by Tess Denman-Cleaver and produced by New Writing North in co-production with Northern Stage, Darlington Civic Theatre, Durham Book Festival and The Customs House, South Shields.
She is a senior lecturer on the MA in creative writing at Newcastle University.
Northern Promise Awards
Ian Horn was born in County Durham, where he still lives. He helps to run Colpitts Poetry and has performed his work widely, including at Glastonbury and on BBC and Danish TV as well as at several European festivals. In 2000 he won a Northern Promise Award from New Writing North, which enabled him to work with Andy Croft as his mentor and to publish in 2001 a Mudfog pamphlet, Jazz from the Collieries. He was the editor of Verses United, an anthology of football poetry which has inspired projects in many schools and at football festivals in the UK and abroad. He recently collaborated with Northern Sinfonia on a sound/text response to the music of Mozart.
Shauna Mackay has been writing since 1998 when she attended a course in Blyth. A story she wrote was shortlisted for a national competition and was published in the Sunday People magazine. She then undertook an MA in creative writing at Northumbria University, where she wrote a novel. In 2000 she received a Northern Promise Award and found an agent to represent her novel. In 2006, she was named as winner of the Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award. The prize fund supported her to work on her novel, The Love Games of Tower Blocks.
Angela Readman gained a distinction in a MA in creative writing at The University of Northumbria. Her poetry has won The Mslexia Poetry Competition, The Charles Causley, and The Essex Poetry Prize. It has been widely published in anthologies and journals including The Rialto, Magma, Ambit, Envoi & Bare Fiction. In 2007, Salt published her collection Strip. Her latest poetry collection The Book of Tides came out with Nine Arches in 2016.
Angela also writes short stories and flash fiction. She won The Costa Short Story Award in 2014 after being shortlisted two years in a row. She is a winner of the National Flash Fiction Day Competition and her stories have been shortlisted in the Manchester Fiction Prize, The Asham Award, The Bristol Prize, & The Bath Short Story Award. In 2015 her debut collection Don’t Try This at Home was published by And Other Stories. The book won The Rubery Book Award and was shortlisted in The Edge Hill Prize. In 2016 she won The Mslexia Short Story Competition and was commissioned to write a story that was on Radio 4 in 2017. She currently lives in Newcastle.