Winners 2015

Northern Writers’ Awards

  • Steve Ely

    Steve Ely lives in the Osgoldcross Wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire. His most recent book of poems is Englaland (Smokestack, March 2015). His previous collection, Oswald’s Book of Hours (Smokestack, 2013) was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. His novel Ratmen was published by Blackheath in 2012.

    His biographical work about Ted Hughes’s neglected South Yorkshire period, Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire; Made in Mexborough, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in August this year.

    Twitter: @JohonSchepe

  • Charlotte Fairbairn

    Charlotte Fairbairn’s first novel A Bear with an Egg in her Paws (Citron Press 1999) was a fictional exploration of her Scottish upbringing. In 2001, she won a two-book deal with Headline and God Breathes his Dreams through Nathaniel Cadwallader (also published in the USA by Penguin) was followed in 2004 by With the Sound of the Sea. In 2010 she self-published One World, One Chutney.

    Since winning the Northern Writers’ Award in 2015, she has been engrossed in the research, compilation and narration of an exhibition at Lowther Castle, near Penrith in Cumbria. The exhibition, The Story of Lowther, opens end of May 2017 and is accompanied by a guidebook. Both tell the story of the Lowther family who have been in situ since the 12th century; and the site itself, home over the centuries to several incarnations of houses and now home to the ruins of the castle itself.

    Charlotte has lived in Cumbria since 1988 and has two children, Jake and Clara.

  • Mark Illis

    Mark’s first short story was published in 1985. Since then he’s had five novels for adults published, three by Bloomsbury and two by Salt. The Last Word (Salt, 2011) was shortlisted for The Portico Prize. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, and he was recently shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize. He’s written for The BillEastEndersPeak Practice and Emmerdale and has written three radio plays. He wrote the screenplay for the film Before Dawn, which won the Best Screenplay award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival. He won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2015 with the opening chapters of his first Young Adult novel. That novel, The Impossible, is published by Quercus in July 2017, and a sequel will appear in 2018. He lives in Yorkshire with his wife, his two children and his cat.

    Mark Illis

  • Caleb Klaces

    Caleb Klaces’s Bottled Air won the Melita Hume Prize for Best First Collection and an Eric Gregory Award. He has written poems, essays and stories for magazines including PoetryThe Threepenny ReviewThe White ReviewGrantaConjunctions and the LRB blog, and performed at festivals including Aldeburgh, Wilderness and the BBC Proms.

    He is from Birmingham and lives in York.

    Twitter: @calebklaces

  • Okey Nzelu

    Okey Nzelu’s prose and poetry has been published in various magazines. He was the recipient of a 2015 Northern Writers’ Award for his debut novel, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, a comedy about family and making mistakes.

  • Eileen Pun

    Eileen Pun was born in New York, and now lives in Grasmere, Cumbria where she works as a freelance writer, poet and artist. Her poetry has been published in various anthologies, most recently, Ten: The New Wave, Bloodaxe Books (2014).

    This year Eileen has been awarded a Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship (LUTSF) to China in support of her interdisciplinary work in movement and poetry.

    Twitter: @eileen_pun

  • Shelley Day Sclater

    Shelley Day Sclater is a Geordie lass, a lapsed lawyer and academic psychologist. Her debut novel, The Confession of Stella Moon, won the Andrea Badenoch Award in 2011, was shortlisted for the Dundee Book Prize in 2013, and longlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2014. Shelley was named as one of Edinburgh City of Literature’s emerging writers in 2013 and read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. In 2015 she won a Northern Writers’ Award for her short story collection, what are you like, which will be published by Red Squirrel Press in 2019. She lives on the Northumberland coast and is represented by Jenny Brown.

    Twitter: @pascalebientot

  • Degna Stone

    Degna Stone is a Midlander in self-imposed exile. They visited Newcastle for the summer in 1999 and never managed to go home. They’re a regular performer on the North East spoken word scene and won a Northern Promise Award for their poetry in 2010. ID on Tyne Press published their chapbook, Between the Floorboards, in 2010.

    They edit the online anthology Deeseeded, are co-founder and Managing Editor of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine and hold an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University.

    Twitter: @Degna

Channel Four/Northumbria University Writing For Television Award

  • Nuzhat Ali

    Nuzhat Ali lives in Bradford where she completed an Education Studies degree with a subject specialism in English Language. She home-educated her two younger children for 8 years and started writing when they went on to further education.

    Nuzhat was one of 10 people selected for the Street Voices 5 Play Writing Course in October 2014, this was followed by her selection for the Dream Reality Radio competition in December 2014. Her play When George Came to Bradford was part of the Bradford Literature Festival and has been with recorded for the BBC Radio website.

  • Sharma Walfall

    Sharma was born and raised in Manchester and she graduated from the University of Salford with BA in Media and Performance. In 2015 Sharma won the inaugural Channel 4 & Northumbria University Northern Writers Award and she received her first broadcast credit with her episode of Hollyoaks in 2017. Since then Sharma has been developing her original series ideas including OUT OF BOUNDS which was awarded a development commission with TriForce Creative Network Writer’s Incubator and was subsequently read as part of Sky’s popular industry table reads.

    Sharma went on to win a place on ITV’s Original Voices programme, and also became runner up for the ITV and Red Planet Prize. Under the mentorship of Jack Thorne as part of Dancing Ledge’s HETV screenwriting bursary Sharma is developing a series pilot THE PRU for which she’s seeking producing partners. She is also currently in Development with Kudos North with her original drama series GIRL KICKS and Red Planet Pictures for her original drama RUBY. She is also part of the The BBC Writers Room’s Northern Voices.

    Sharma is represented by Emma Obank and Anthony Mestriner at Casarotto Ramsey & Associates Ltd.


Clare Swift Short Story Award

  • CS Mee

    CS Mee grew up in Birkenhead and now lives in Durham, where she writes short stories and is working on a novel. Her stories have been published in WasafiriThe Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013Unthology and Prole, as well as online, and she won the Wasafiri New Writing competition in 2012.

    She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and a PhD in French and Italian literature.


Andrea Badenoch Award

  • Sally Jubb

    Sally Jubb read Drama and English at Goldsmiths College, London. This she followed with a post-graduate diploma in Set Design for Theatre and worked for may years in London as a scenic artist. As well as being a painter she has been writing, mainly short stories, since her twenties. She returned to the sea and her home town of Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 2001.

    Since receiving The Andrea Badenoch Award in 2015 her work has been shortlisted in The Bristol Short Story Prize (2016), highly commended in The Manchester Fiction Prize (2016), and won The Colm Toibin Short Story Award (2017). Her stories and flash fiction have appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies. She is working towards a collection of short stories. As well as short fiction she also writes plays and is currently working on a radio script.


    Sally Jubb

Arvon Award

  • Sarah Wray

    Sarah is originally from Yorkshire but now lives in Newcastle and works as a technology writer and editor. After a few years of tentatively tinkering around the edges she is taking the plunge and working to finish her first novel.

New Fiction Bursaries

  • Karen Featherstone

    Originally from Brighton, but currently living in Cumbria, Karen Featherstone is a screenwriter and playwright, as well as a prose writer. A former health reporter, she has written storylines for Coronation Street and Emmerdale and her work has been featured at the National Theatre Studio and broadcast by Channel 4. She’s a Write to Play playwright for Graeae Theatre Company, and is working to finish her first novel.


  • Martin Feekins

    Martin Feekins, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, has had short stories published in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories and numerous small press anthologies. Three of his comic scripts have been published as Future Shocks in the long-running science fiction comic 2000AD and other comic scripts have appeared in the small press, including the experimental online anthology, Sliced Quarterly. He has also scripted a short film, had his work broadcast on radio and written several novel-length works. He is currently developing a new novel through the Writers’ Block North East scheme, which is based on Teesside.


    Martin Feekins

  • Amy Lord

    Amy Lord is from Middlesbrough and has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. She was shortlisted in Route Publishing’s Next Great Novelist Award in 2011 and made the longlist of the inaugural Bath Novel Award in 2014. She won a New Fiction Bursary for her dystopian novel, The Disappeared, in the Northern Writers’ Awards 2015. Her literary lifestyle blog, Ten Penny Dreams, was runner-up in the Best Arts and Culture Blog category of the Blog North Awards in 2013.


  • Kay Ryder

    Kay Ryder is writing her first YA novel, a futuristic thriller, and studying for an MA Creative Writing at MMU. Her favourite books are almost always YA and her short story Joyride was published in the MMU Anthology Crimelines, launched at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival 2014. She lives in New Brighton with her husband and daughter.


  • Steve Timms

    Steve Timms won the Independent on Sunday’s Young Journalist of the Year award in 1997, and later worked as Theatre Editor for City Life magazine. Plays include Filthy Lies, Clean Breasts (Edinburgh fringe), Detox Mansion (24-7 Festival), Temp/Casual (Contact Theatre), The Distance Between Stars (King’s Arms, Salford), and American Beer (Radio 4). He has performed at several spoken word nights including Bad Language, Verbose, and Pen-Chant. Since winning a New Fiction bursary in 2015, he has written several short stories, which have been published in Litro, and small press magazine, Speakeasy. In 2016, he was shortlisted for The Stage’s new critic award. He is currently polishing his performance skills on a comedy improvisation course. He sometimes writes art and culture articles for The Skinny newspaper.

New North Poets

  • Kathleen Bainbridge Moran

    Kathleen Bainbridge Moran was the runner-up for the 2014 Flambard Prize. Her poems have been published in The Journal and The Rialto and her sequence, ‘Looking for Lorca’, for ‘The Poetics of the Archive’ project, appears on the Bloodaxe archive website. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2013, graduating with distinction.

  • David Borrott

    David Borrott has an MA in Poetry from Manchester Metropolitan University. His pamphlet Porthole was published by smith|doorstop in June 2015. He lives with his partner and their three sons in Lancashire.


  • Jared Carnie

    Jared A. Carnie has lived in Essex, Bath and the Outer Hebrides. He read at the Inverness Book Festival in 2014. He now lives in Sheffield. His debut novel, Waves, was published in September 2016.

    Jarad A. Carnie

  • Tom Cleary

    After retiring from teaching, Tom Cleary began to write poetry. In 2011 he won a poetry competition organised jointly by Writers Forum and the HappenStance Press. The prize was the publication of The Third Miss Keane by HappenStance Press in 2014. Earlier the same year he was the featured poet in Orbis 166 (January 2014) with 4 poems. Several of his poems have been published in other poetry magazines.

  • James Giddings

    Since winning his award in 2015 James had has his debut pamphlet ‘Everything is Scripted’ published by Templar Poetry. The book was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the 2017 Saboteur Awards. His poems appeared next to the other New North Poets in the Poetry School Pamphlet ‘all that’s ever happened’, which he also edited. James has recently joined the Magazine Butcher’s Dog as an editor and looks forward to reading what the rest of the North has to offer.


    James Giddings

  • Jasmine Simms

    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.

Cuckoo Young Writers Award

  • Zainab Abbass

    Zainab lives in Sheffield where she is in the process of finishing off her GCSEs. In 2014 she won the Wicked Young Writer’s Award in 2014 in the 15-17 category and came second in Writing Yorkshire’s ‘Photofictions’ competition.

    In 2015 she was one of the winners of the Falmouth University Young Writers’ Prize and, as a result, was published in the university’s literary magazine WiTH. Zainab writes stories, but also dabbles in poetry. She describes herself as ‘passionate about music, films, books, the universe, pacifism and gender equality’.

Matthew Hale Award

  • Jowita Krasik

    Jowita Krasik is from County Durham and was studying for her A Levels when she was nominated for the Matthew Hale Award.

    She is a prolific member of New Writing North’s Cuckoo Young Writers programme. With the money from the award Jowita bought a new laptop to aid her writing and spent a wonderful weekend in London seeing West End shows (which she naturally went on to review!).

Conor Robinson Award

  • Wyatt Sugden

    16-year-old Wyatt from Bishop Auckland received the inaugural Conor Robinson Award in 2015. Wyatt’s talents shone during a workshop run at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, when he wrote poetry inspired by artefacts not normally available to the viewing public.