Northern Promise Award
Karon has always loved children’s fiction. Interested in history and the lost and misremembered stories of place, she’s drawn to timeslip stories. She won the Andrea Badenoch Award 2017 and a Northern Promise Award 2012 for YA novels (unpublished). She believes in enjoying the process and never giving up.
Her published short stories for adults include ‘A Yellow Dress on Yee Wo Street’, (Gutter 24, 2021) ‘A Stitch in Time’ (Under the, 2019) ‘The Bone Garden’ (Writer’s Forum, 2019) and ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ (Moth Publishing, 2015). She is also working on a crime novel.
Karon was born in Essex, grew up on Anglesey and lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne. She is a dyslexia specialist and teaches English to teens and adults, and adult creative writing in a small FE college. She’s a member of the Gosforth writing group.
‘I’m delighted to be given the Hachette Children’s Novel Award. It’s a great encouragement to keep writing and to never give up hope that someone will enjoy reading your work.’
Carmen never knows what to say in these biog things, she could tell you about her most recent training experience which improved her ability to file. But instead she thought you might like to know that she writes because she puked black sick after her First Holy Communion; that her Dad pulled a stuck sea-gull out of a chimney – it bit him and her mother liked to tell her about Padre Pio’s visions of demons and the stigmata as proof of god’s love.
Carmen Davis studied English at St Andrews and her career has ranged from teaching English to stimulating innovation. She is interested in the ways in which human creativity is discovered, nurtured and embodied – and how places and people can shape this process. She grew up in a place where stories were passed from hand to mouth, scarce, sacred and alive. Her novel, How Saints Die, is for adults who need to remember the resilience of children. Set in 1987 in an abandoned Northern seaside town, the novel takes the reader into ten-year-old Ellie’s misfit world of drowning crabs, seaworthy lies and beyond to the ‘in-between’ place where her mother was taken.
In recent years Wendy has written five novels for children. She won a Northern Writers’ Award for The Bugbear in 2012. In 2014 she won second prize in the Leicester Writers’ Club Open Competition with her novel Nobody, set in the Cheviot Hills. Her e-book Tommy down the Pit was published by Tyne Bridge Publishing in 2017. In October 2017 she won third prize in the A Book for Children competition at Wells Literary Festival with her novel Mairi and the Stones. She is currently working on the Writers’ Development Programme organised by Writers’ Block in Middlesbrough and is a Writer in Residence at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.
Since winning a Northern Writer’s Award, John has completed a PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University where he now works as a Research Associate and a Teaching Assistant.
His poems have appeared on BBC Radio 4, and in magazines and journals including Butcher’s Dog, Clinic, Iota, Magma, Poetry London, The Rialto, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Under the Radar. He is also the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and was selected as one of the Aldeburgh Eight by the Poetry Trust in 2015.
He has held residences at the Keats Shelley House in Rome, and was a poet-in-residence with the Northern Poetry Library in 2015/16. His debut play, The Next Train to Depart, was commissioned in 2014 by Queen’s Hall Arts Centre and performed throughout the North East. A debut pamphlet of poems is forthcoming from Poetry Salzburg.
Joanne Clement is a 26-year-old poet and MA student of creative writing at Newcastle University. A first class English undergraduate with Leeds Trinity and All Saints, Joanne was awarded the Jack Higgins Prize for Outstanding Achievement. Since graduating in 2007, she has researched professionally for BBC Radio 4’s Writing the Century and The Tenth Muse, presented by Jackie Kay. Joanne is the author and creator of Book Apothecary’s Frequency, an audio installation that invites the public to tune into her poems through a vintage radio. In 2012 Joanne became the recipient of a Northern Promise Award to develop her first collection of poetry.
Gail P Hildreth
In 2009 Gail gained an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. Since then she has won The Northern Star Children’s Writing Competition in 2011, judged by Lauren Lavern and voted for by children, and a Northern Writer’s Award in 2012 with The Book of Lost Legends. In 2012 her short story, ‘Born Again Boy’, was published as one of the Newcastle Journal’s Saturday Short Stories. Her latest novel, The Weight of the Sky, was shortlisted in the 2016 Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition and has been highly commended by The Literary Consultancy.
Gail was born in Newcastle, grew up in Australia and New Zealand and now lives in the wilds of the Northumbrian North Pennines. She draws on her many childhood and adult adventures to enrich the stories she writes. She has experienced earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and a tornado, stolen a horse, flown a plane and was part of the crew of a sailing ship. In America she toured with The Monkees as head of wardrobe and studied screenwriting and 16mm filmmaking at New York University. Gail is now working on a fourth novel.
Amanda Robson was a teacher who was so inspired by the Even Better Writers programme New Writing North ran that she took a year out to learn more about the craft of writing. Amanda is currently developing Lost and Found, a collection of short stories which explore belonging, longing and the forces that cast us adrift.
Phoebe Walker is originally from Northumberland and now works in London. A Northern Writers’ Award winner, she has also twice been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and her poetry and has appeared or is forthcoming in Magma, Lunar Poetry, The Missing Slate, CAKE, Cadaverine, and the Tower Poetry anthology, Earth Quiet.
Time to Write Award
Andrew is a freelance feature writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, the Observer magazine, GQ, Esquire, and many others. He has written a literary non-fiction book about Raoul Moat, based on a great deal of unpublished recordings and documents.
The Waterhouse Poetry Award
Linda France was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. After some time living away, she moved back to the North East in 1981. She is currently based close to Hadrian’s Wall, near Hexham, in Northumberland. Her poetry collections include The Simultaneous Dress (Bloodaxe, 2002) and The Toast of the Kit Cat Club (Bloodaxe, 2005), a biography in verse of the 18th century traveller and writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Her two latest books are book of days, a year renga, with ceramic fragments by Sue Dunne (Smokestack Books, 2009) and You are Her (Arc Publications, 2010). Linda also edited the acclaimed anthology Sixty Women Poets (Bloodaxe, 1993). She has worked on a number of collaborations with visual artists and musicians and around 40 public art projects. Linda is currently Leverhulme Artist in Residence at Moorbank Botanic Garden, University of Newcastle.
The Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award
Jane Wood was born in Greater London, but has lived most of her life in Newcastle upon Tyne, where she works as a part-time proofreader. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of Northumbria. Her short stories have appeared in various publications, including Mslexia, Frogmore Papers, and The Nerve anthology (Virago). In 2012 she was awarded the Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award for her novel-in-progress, Michael.