Chloe Daykin from Hexham is currently undertaking a PHD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. She has written shorts for the stage including at Northern Stage, Live Theatre and The Traverse in Edinburgh. She devised Eat Our Words a Poetry and Prose event at the Eat Festival in Newcastle Gateshead. She teaches bookbinding, printmaking and digital arts working with a range of cultural organisations in the North East. She has been awarded £3200 to develop the manuscript of her novel for young adults Fish Boy.
Sarah Dunnakey from Hebden Bridge is a quiz question setter and verifier who has worked on many TV quiz shows including Mastermind, University Challenge and Pointless. Her debut novel The Companion set in 1930s Yorkshire and the present day will be published by Orion in 2017.
The Northern Writers Award that she won in 2014 enabled Sarah to take time out from work to complete The Companion.
Sarah has had short stories in several anthologies, including ones published by Fish Publishing, Leaf Books and bluechrome Publishing. Her story The Marzipan Husband was first broadcast on Radio 4 in 2011 and has been repeated twice since then. The Companion was long-listed in the Mslexia Novel Award 2016.
Michael Edwards is from Middlesbrough and has had his poems published in a number of publications by local presses Mudfog and Ek Zuban. He has won £3000 for his first novel for young adults The Reaper Reports, an original take on the Grim Reaper myth.
Addy is published with poetry, a chapter book, Grandad’s Bench, Walker Books and a picture book, Siddharth and Rinki, Penguin Books. After winning a Northern Writers Award, she was commissioned to write a picture book text, A Bagful of Stars; this has been adopted by North Lincs Council as part of their outstanding literacy campaign, Words Count. Her next book, Worlds Apart, will be published with Frances Lincoln Children’s Books in April 2018.
The Northern Writers Award for her children’s novel, The Empty Girl, allowed her to spend time and money on discovering more about the craft of writing story.
Naomi is an English teacher from Newcastle currently working on a novel about Mary, Queen of Scots and the murder of Lord Darnley. She won a Northern Writers Fiction Award for a novel about Arbilla Stuart, and has continued to write fiction set in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. She has been writing stories since she could hold a pen. In 2010, she won the Wicked Young Writer’s Award for her story Captain James Hook’s Most Estimable Treatise in Defence of Prospective Infanticide, which was in no way whatsoever inspired by a Friday afternoon lesson with Year 9. Her short stories have also been published in Mslexia and shortlisted for the Bristol Prize, the Dorothy Dunnett Award, and the Bridport Prize. Naomi is represented by Anne Williams at the Kate Hordern Literary Agency.
Andrew Forster from Grange Over Sands in Cumbria has won £3000 to buy a sabbatical from his job at the Wordsworth Trust to give him time to write his third collection. Flambard Press have published his first two collections, Fear of Thunder and Territory.
Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988; his debut collection physical was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. The collection also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, a Somerset Maugham Award (2016), an Eric Gregory Award (2016) and a Northern Writers’ award (2014). It was shortlisted the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2016, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Polari First Book Prize. It was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2015. He currently lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and lives in Manchester.
Kim Moore has worked for 13 years as a Peripatetic Brass Teacher for Cumbria Music Service. Winning a Northern Writers Award in 2014 enabled her to reduce her teaching hours and develop her work as a freelance writer. She now runs residential poetry courses in the Lake District and Cornwall, and runs poetry workshops with young people for The Wordsworth Trust. She also reads regularly at festivals both in the UK and abroad. In 2015 she was one of five UK poets chosen by Ledbury Poetry Festival to take part in Versopolis, a European funded project to promote the work of emerging poets at European festivals. In 2016 she was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Bursary to begin a PhD in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Phoebe Power was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and is now based near Penrith in Cumbria. In 2009 she was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year and in 2012 received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. Her poems have appeared in magazines including POEM, Magma, Orbis and Cake.
Phoebe studied at the University of Cambridge where she ran Pembroke Poetry Society and established Chameleon, an online network for student writers. She was highly commended in the 2013-14 Faber New Poets pamphlet scheme and is currently apprentice poet in residence at Ilkley Literature Festival.
Julian Turner joined Michael Donaghy’s poetry class in 1993 with a view to learning poetry composition. Although he had written poetry since his teens, he wanted to learn the principles of a proper foundation.
He was selected as one of 10 Anvil new poets in 2000 and his first collection, Crossing the Outskirts, was published by Anvil in 2002. This was shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best First Collection Prize and was a Poetry Book Society recommendation.
His second volume, Orphan Sites (2006), and third, Planet-Struck (2011), were also published by Anvil. Planet-Struck was a PBS recommendation as well and positively reviewed in the Guardian in June 2011.
He enjoys reading his work and has done so at Beverley Festival, the Wordsworth Trust, Knaresborough FEVA and several venues in London. His work has been anthologised in Identity Parade (Bloodaxe, 2010, ed. Roddy Lumsden) and in Versions of the North (Five Leaves, 2013, ed. Ian Parks).
Julian was a grateful recipient of a Northern Writers’ Award in 2014.
He is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Leeds University, works as a counsellor, and lives in Otley, West Yorkshire.
Ben Wilkinson was born in Stafford in 1985, and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He is the author of two pamphlets of poems: The Sparks (tall-lighthouse, 2008), and For Real (Smith|Doorstop, 2014), and winner of the Poetry Business Competition 2013-14, judged by Carol Ann Duffy. He is working on a sequence, Kopite Sonnets, commemorating the legendary players and managers of Liverpool Football Club. His poem John Barnes recently won the Offside Stories: The Pride and the Passion competition; the sonnet King Kenny appeared in the Official Liverpool FC Monthly Magazine. Among other things he works as a critic, reviewing new poetry for The Guardian and The Times Literary Supplement.
At the Northern Writers’ Awards 2014, he was awarded £2,000 to support the development of his debut full-length collection of poetry.
Andrea Badenoch Prize for Fiction
Deborah grew up in Merseyside, reciting rosaries and laughing scornfully at the notion of a Big Bang. Then she read books and realised there was a different world out there, and she meandered about, as south as Brighton, as far as Turin, as north as Glasgow. She didn’t like being landlocked in Sheffield, but she did like living on the sheep farm in Renfrewshire and by the estuary in Topsham. Amongst other things, she has worked as an EFL teacher, a barmaid, a fish and chip shop assistant, a commercial artist, and latterly as a psychologist. She enjoys psychological suspense, and is currently at the rewrite stage with her first novel, an excerpt of which won the Andrea Badenoch Award.
The Andrew Waterhouse Award
Polly Atkin lives Cumbria. Her first poetry collection Basic Nest Architecture (Seren: 2017) was followed by a third pamphlet, With Invisible Rain (New Walk Press: 2018), which draws on Dorothy Wordsworth’s late journals to explore ways to express pain. Her first pamphlet bone song (Aussteiger, 2008) was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award, 2009, and second, Shadow Dispatches (Seren, 2013), won the Mslexia Pamphlet Prize, 2012. She has taught English and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Cumbria. She is working on a on-fiction book reflecting on place, belonging and chronic illness. An extract from this, ‘Swimming against the Nature Cure’, focused on outdoor swimming and disability, was published in March 2020 in Ache magazine. In 2019 she co-founded the Open Mountain initiative at Kendal Mountain Festival with Kate Davis and Anita Sethi, which seeks to centre voices that are currently at the margins of outdoor, mountain and nature writing.
Winning a Northern Writers’ Award would never not be a great boost to both morale and finances, but this year it feels like a life-saver. I had to keep re-reading the email to check it was real. Like many freelance writers, I lost most of paid work for the year in March. Like many disabled and chronically ill writers, I’m facing a long period of uncertainty, knowing it may not be save to resume face-to-face work for many months to come. This award not only offers creative encouragement when I really need it, but financial support which will make continuing to create possible. It has saved my year.
Vicky Morris writes short stories and poetry. She runs Sheffield and Rotherham Young Writers and works freelance in many creative and educational roles primarily with teenagers.
Working in many contexts, Vicky has used creative writing therapeutically, for example to support young people to express their experiences of sexual exploitation, and vocationally, for many years Vicky ran Cube Magazine, a work experience programme for young people who have an interest in writing and journalism careers.
Vicky has worked for a wide range of organisations as a writer, mentor and facilitator including Apples and Snakes, The Writing Squad and Off the Shelf Festival of Words. She recently made a documentary about dyslexic writers to change perceptions (Dyslexic and Loving Words, available on Dyslexia Action’s YouTube).
Vicky is currently studying an MA in writing at Sheffield Hallam University and is part of the core development team at Writing Yorkshire.
Cuckoo Young Writers Prize
Jasmine is from West Yorkshire, in northern England. Formerly Vice Chancellor’s Scholar for the Arts at Durham University, she is currently a postgraduate student at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her writing explores themes including female adolescence, childhood, wildness and sexuality.
Since being a commended FOYLE Young Poet of the Year in 2012, Jasmine received awards for her poetry including the Ted Hughes Young Poet Award, the Yorkshire New Poet Award and (most recently) being named New North Poet in the Northern Writers Awards – a joint project with The Poetry School.
Her poetry has been published in magazines such as Magma and The North, as well as in anthologies by Bloodaxe, Smith/Doorstep and Tower Poetry. Her first pamphlet is forthcoming with Smith/Doorstep press as part of their 2019 New Poets series. She has read at literature festivals across the UK including Manchester, Ledbury, Bridlington, and London Book Fair.
Jasmine is a graduate of The Writing Squad – a professional development scheme in the north of England. In 2014 she was selected to attend the Tower Poetry Summer School at Christ Church, Oxford University. In 2015-16 she was poet in residence for the Knee Deep project at Tender Buttons Performance Company (Newcastle), the results of which she showcased as part of Durham Book Festival. Jasmine is co-founder of the Dead [Women] Poets Society collective.
Matthew Hale Award
New Fiction Bursaries
She received a New Fiction Bursary at the Northern Writers’ Awards 2014 for her children’s novel, Hosannas and Sleeping Bags. Since receiving this award, she has been longlisted for Mslexia’s Children’s Novel Competition, received an Honourable Mention in the American literary journal Glimmer Train, and been signed by a literary agent. She was a finalist for BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines and her short story ‘Flour Baby’ was broadcast in August 2015. Her short play Metal Sandwich was performed at the Live Theatre, via their Live Lab programme, in 2017. She is currently working on her third children’s novel.
Heather Gatt is a professional visual artist making batik wax resist paintings and textiles. She also teaches batik and give talks to art and textile groups nationwide.
Since beginning her first novel in 2005, Heather has completed three novels and several children’s stories, and writing has become her passion.
She attended a Cornerstones Self-Editing course a few years ago, which she found tremendously helpful. She has also attended the York Festival of Writing and recommends it as a great source of information. Heather enjoys learning about the craft of writing, and belongs to a couple of reading groups which are useful for making her sample books she might not read otherwise.
Heather loves reading good quality women’s fiction. Some of the authors she enjoys and aspires to are Donna Tartt, Hilary Mantel, Susan Hill, and Maggie O’Farrell.
Heather was born in 1954 in Hertfordshire, living in London and the South Midlands before moving to North Yorkshire 16 years ago. Currently she lives and works in Whitby, North Yorkshire. She is divorced, and has two sons.
Dale Hannah lives in the North West of England with his wife, children and sheep. He teaches functional skills and creative writing to young adults across Greater Manchester and Cheshire. Following success in the Northern Writers’ Awards, Dale secured agent representation and went onto win the Commonword Writing Diversity for Children Prize. Despite this success his YA novel remains unpublished. He is currently having a fabulous time working on humorous middle grade fiction.
Alex M Lacey
When Alex arrived in Spain, at around five years old, the language barrier resulted in a paranoid fascination with body posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye movements and tone. A fixation that had become instinctive by the time he returned to England, and now didn’t speak that language.
He believes that fixating on people’s mannerisms and interactions in this way, coupled with years of being a singer-songwriter and working under the constraints of meter and rhyme, while attempting to express himself passionately, articulately and memorably, with a tight word count, and a firm understanding of rhythm and melody, left him with a very useful set of tools and skills that have informed and enriched his writing.
Alex’s début novel, the noir thriller Killing Laura, can be purchased online and can also be ordered at local bookshops. And, more recently, he released a short political satire about the assassination of fictional President-elect Ronald D. Stump, titled The Man I Killed…Alex says that this tale has no doubt landed him on several government watch lists and probably explains certain peculiar events surrounding his phone and PC lately.
He continues to write daily and is still trying to understand everybody.