Winners 2023

Hachette Children's Novel Award

  • Rachel Rowlands

    Rachel Rowlands dreamed of becoming a children’s writer from a young age. After recovering from chronic fatigue in mid-life, she made writing a priority. Longlisted in the Mslexia children’s novel award 2016, she has written for Aquila children’s magazine, and self-published a book of poems for children, You Can’t Take a Camel on the Train. When she came across Lizzie the Sheffield elephant who carted scrap metal for munitions in World War One, she knew she wanted to bring her alive for children. The resulting novel Steel City Elephant won the Hachette Children’s Novel Award 2023. Rachel lives in Sheffield.

  • Rachel Pattinson

    Rachel Pattinson is an emerging children’s fiction and non-fiction writer and is a winner of the 2023 Hachette Children’s Novel Award. She is a member of North East-based children’s writers and artists group SSWAG, and part of the 2023 WriteMentor Summer Mentoring Programme. Rachel manages digital projects and cultural partnerships at Newcastle University and is a trustee of Northumberland-based children’s theatre charity, Mortal Fools. Rachel is a Chartered Member of CILIP, previously worked as a Partnership Manager with Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, and hosts a Little Free Library for her community.

Northern Writers' Award for Fiction

  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan was part of WriteNow, Penguin Random House’s scheme for underrepresented writers. Her first novel, A Love Story for Bewildered Girls was published by Viking in 2019. She lives in Liverpool with her partner.

  • Alison Armstrong

    Alison Armstrong is working on a landscape memoir of the East Yorkshire Coast, supported by Arts Council England and an Author’s Foundation grant (Society of Authors); it was long-listed for the Nan Shepherd Prize 2019. In 2020 she received a Literature Matters Award (Royal Society of Literature) for her play, also supported by ACE. She has just completed her second novel. Her first novel, Fossils, came out with Saraband Books in 2022. She has work in Crossways, Bangor Literary Journal, Confingo, 3:AM, Thresholds and has had fiction shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Award, and Exeter Short Fiction Prize.

Northern Writers' Award for Poetry

  • Liam Bates

    Liam Bates is a poet based in Lancashire. His poems have appeared in publications including Ambit, Abridged, Bath Magg and beyond. They have been commended or shortlisted in competitions by Magma, Bridport Prize and Creative Future, longlisted in the National Poetry Competition, and have been translated into Spanish and Latvian.

    His first two pamphlets, Working Animals and Monomaniac are available from Broken Sleep Books, and his full-length debut, Human Townsperson, is available now.

  • Holly Hopkins

    Holly Hopkins’ first collection The English Summer (Penned in the Margins) has been described as ‘tak[ing] on the stories England tells about itself.’ The English Summer is shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize for First Collection, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, was awarded the Poetry Book Society’s Special Commendation and was named one of The Guardian’s ‘Best Poetry Books of 2022’. She has received an Eric Gregory Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Women Poets’ Prize.

Northern Debut Award for Memoir

  • Yvonne Reddick

    Yvonne Reddick is a poet, nature writer, environmental humanities researcher and climber. Her books include Burning Season (Bloodaxe) and Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet (Palgrave), and the poetry pamphlets Spikenard (Laureate’s Choice) and Translating Mountains (Seren). Her work appears in The Guardian Review and The New Statesman. She wrote and presented the wildlife documentary Searching for Snow Hares, directed by Aleks Domanski. Her research has revealed that Seamus Heaney sold bog poems to raise funds for bog conservation, and that Ted Hughes lobbied politicians about water pollution.

Northern Debut Award for Young Adult Fiction

  • Bridget Helen Hamilton

    Bridget Hamilton is a writer and creative producer who grew up in Kent but has lived in the North East for the past twelve years. She works predominantly with young people in school and youth settings, but has also delivered writing projects in prisons and for people in recovery.

    Bridget’s writing explores themes of home, family and identity. She was longlisted in the Mslexia Memoir and Life Writing Competition in 2021 and has been commissioned to make work for organisations such as the Hexham Book Festival, Kielder Observatory, Curious Arts and Poet in the City.

Northern Debut Award for Fiction

  • Anton Rose

    A native of the North East, Anton lives in Durham with his wife and son. His short fiction and poetry have been published widely in print and online, and he is currently working on a novel.

Northern Debut Awards for Poetry

  • Carson Wolfe

    Carson Wolfe (they/them) is a Mancunian poet. Their debut poetry pamphlet Boy(ish) Vest was praised by Dr Kim Moore as a ‘risk-taking roller-coaster of a book’. In 2021, they were an Aurora Prize Winner and a Button Video Contest winner. Their poetry has appeared in Rattle, Fourteen Poems, The Penn Review, and Poetry by Chance (Button, 2023). They live in Manchester with their wife and three children.

Northern Debut Award for Poetry: Out-Spoken Press Programme

  • Alex Mepham

    Alex Mepham is a PhD student investigating how background noise impacts speech understanding. Alex is the current Poetry Editor at Queerlings magazine, and has work has appeared in Magma, Dreich, Berlin Lit, Visual Verse, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Modern Poetry in Translation among others. Alex lives in York, and more information about Alex’s work can be found at Alex also has a somewhat inactive Twitter account: @am3pham.

  • Jane Thomas

    Jane is passionate about words, health, inequalities, and interbeing. She has been highly commended in the Bridport, Fish, Live Canon, Hippocrates, Cheshire prize, Poetry Wales and The Rialto pamphlet competition and published in publications including: Stand, Mslexia, Urthona, Envoi and The ORB. She is a grateful recipient of a DYCP from Arts Council England, a big fan of Out-Spoken Press and a co-creator of Port Sunlight Poetry.

    She has recently enjoyed ecopoetic residencies at NAHR and at Hawkwood, Centre for Future Thinking, and last summer she secured a place at the Southampton (NY) Writers conference on Poetry Hydraulics.

Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award

  • Helen Parker

    Helen Parker’s writing focuses on the magic (and misery) of the domestic and everyday, often influenced by the community she lives in and the years she spent working as a nurse. She has been writing sporadically throughout her life – a diagnosis of ADHD has explained the many unfinished projects – and recently went back to Northumbria University to get her Masters in Creative Writing. When she’s not working on her own writing, or looking after her young son, she volunteers at children’s creative writing sessions at Live Theatre.

Sid Chaplin Award

  • Dr Louise Marie Powell - Winner

    Louise Powell is a working-class writer from Middlesbrough who writes for theatre, short film, audio drama, podcast and prose. Her plays have been performed at eight venues and her award-winning play Grown Up Writin’ will be staged at The Customs House Theatre in September 2023. Louise’s audio drama The Pitmen Flappers was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and she has written for commissioned short films and a podcast. Louise is Writer-in-Residence at Josephine Butler College, Durham University, has received Arts Council funding and was published in Kit de Waal’s Common People anthology. She is also a licensed greyhound trainer.

  • Candi Martin - Highly Commended

    Candi Martin is a Creative Writing Tutor and writer/editor from Lancashire. She recently completed an MA in Creative Writing for Wellbeing at Teesside University and has always written for her own wellbeing.

Finchale Award for Short Fiction

  • Sarah Davy

    Sarah Davy is a writer, facilitator and lecturer living and working in rural Northumberland. Her short fiction is published online and in print and her short plays have been performed in Newcastle, Manchester and London.
    Sarah has been commissioned by Hexham Book Festival and won the Women On The Wall flash fiction competition, judged by Natalie Haynes, in 2018. She was writer in residence at Forum Books for 2019-2020.
    Sarah is working on a short story collection set against a backdrop of climate change, a full-length stage play and a comedy TV series exploring life as a childfree woman.

Northern Promise TLC Award

  • Katja Kaine

    Katja is half Singaporean and half German and loves blending nature, science and history into fantastical adventures. She loves walking her dog through the ancient forest she lives beside and glimpsing into the lives of teeny weeny beings in her microscope. She wishes she lived in the Natural History Museum. In 2022 she was been shortlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award and featured in the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices Anthology.

  • Farzana A Ghani

    Farzana is a former high school English teacher who holds an MA in Education from Leeds Trinity University and an MA in Creative Writing and Critical Life from the University of Leeds. A recipient of a York Graduate Research School Scholarship, she is a PhD candidate in English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of York.

    Her work has appeared online, on platforms such as Dear Damsels and is forthcoming in print in Litro Magazine. She writes creative nonfiction and prose and lives with her husband and two daughters in the north of England. She is currently working on short fiction and a novel.

  • Letty Butler

    Letty is a writer and performer, with an MA in Creative Writing from SHU. She has just finished her debut novel, Escape Artists, and is currently working on a collection of short fiction. Thematically she’s drawn to exploring humanity in all its complex, messy glory. Last year, she won the Fish Short Story Prize, BPA Prize and New Writers Flash Award, and was shortlisted for Bridport, Bath Flash and Mslexia. Her short films have been shown at BAFTA, LOCO & Aesthetica, and her first non-fiction book, The Jobbing Actor, was published by Nick Hern Books in January 2023.

Young Northern Writers' Awards 11-14

  • Fadi Alali - Winner

    Fadi believes in following ones passion to accomplish things they never imagined they could achieve.

  • Abby Wilson - Highly Commended

    Abby Wilson is a student at Excelsior Academy who worked with New Writing North’s Young Writers’ City programme on a songwriting project in 2022. Over the course of ten sessions led by songwriter and rapper Robin Reza, Abby wrote an original song called ‘Somebody Else’, which was submitted to the Young Northern Writers’ Awards and was highly commended.

Young Northern Writers' Awards 15-18

  • Isabel Maria Johnson - Winner

    Isabel Johnson, who performs and releases music as Isabel Maria, is an emerging young singer-songwriter based in Sunderland. Her song-writing spans various indie pop sub-genres and has received rave reviews through local press and radio coverage. Throughout 2023 so far, Isabel has released several well-received singles and played at countless live gigs across the region with her band, with song-writing being at the core of all these things.

  • Joe Wright - Highly Commended

    Joe Wright is a poet from County Durham whose work explores the relationships between land, memory, and people in the North Pennines. He will be studying English at university next year, and is mentored by the poet Jo Clement through New Writing North. He was also highly commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2022 and won the Wells Festival of Literature Young Poets Competition, and hopes someday to publish a pamphlet of poetry.

Matthew Hale Award

  • Robert Hall - Winner

    Robert first discovered a love for writing during lockdown, using it as a way of dealing with the indirect repercussions of the situation and a way of processing and coping with the changes to his normal life. Having previously never applied himself fully to his schoolwork, Robert discovered a talent for English Literature and was encouraged by his English teacher to turn his brief musings into longer pieces of work. He is a young carer for his sister, and this guardian element often finds its way into his writing – along with a continued introspection – through the use of allusions.

  • Hanna Elkaram

    Hanna is a student, aspiring poet, and medic from the North East. Being part of the Libyan diaspora, Hanna has continued to channel this exploration of her identity within her poetry, focusing on the wonders that are readily seen in Libya but also life around the Middle East and North Africa before the Arab Spring. Alongside these themes, Hanna also explores themes of love and life experiences. She hopes that her work comforts those of similar diaspora and similar struggles, but also opens up the world’s eyes to Libya and its beauty.

Word Factory Northern Apprentice Award

  • Lauren Vevers

    Lauren is a writer from Newcastle upon Tyne. Their poetry and prose has been published by 3 of Cups Press, Popshot Magazine, Hobart Pulp and The Real Story. Their short play reached the Pint-sized Playwriting longlist and their script, Danielle & The Devil, reached the top 12% of the BBC Writersroom Open Call. Their debut short film as a writer/director was funded by Film Hub North x BFI Network and screened at festivals internationally.

    They devise and deliver creative writing workshops with young people and community groups across the North of England.

Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards

  • Lime Pictures: Liz Redwood

    Liz has completed a Certificate in Screenwriting from Liverpool John Moores University and in 2020/21 completed the Liverpool Royal Court Playwrights Programme and the Liverpool Everyman Playwrights Programme. In 2020 she was shortlisted for the Kenneth Brannagh New Drama Award at the Windsor Fringe Festival and the Sphinx Theatre Female Playwrights Programme. She has had several short plays and one full length play performed in Liverpool.

    In 2022, her short play ‘A Tipsy Christmas Fairy Tale’ was chosen to be in the Liverpool Royal Court’s studio Christmas show and was her first professional production.

  • Rollem Productions: Harriet Ghost

    An actor-writer from Newcastle, Harriet trained at AADA, New York, and her credits include Ken Loach and ITV projects.

    As co-founder of award-winning Hooley Theatre, Harriet is dedicated to developing talent and improving arts access in underserved North East communities. Harriet’s writing for stage includes a Gala Theatre commission.

    In 2020, Harriet was selected for BFI’s Script Lab and received mentoring from Aisling Bea through BAFTA’s Connects scheme supporting women in TV and film. This year, Harriet was selected for BAFTA’s Connect membership.

    Harriet is passionate about transferring her skills to screen and reaching new audiences with authentic, exciting stories.

  • Bonafide Films: Joe McNally

    Joe McNally is a writer from Liverpool. His debut play ‘Cosmic’ was staged at Liverpool’s Royal Court theatre in April 2023. He is a graduate of both Liverpool’s Royal Court Stage Write Development Programme and Liverpool Everyman’s YEP writers’ programme. Joe developed his love of writing while studying English & Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University, and went on to complete a Masters in Screenwriting in 2020. His writing focuses on people on the margins of society, who feel they may have fallen through the cracks and find themselves on the outside looking in.

Arvon Award

  • Laura McDonagh

    Laura McDonagh is a writer from Washington, Tyne and Wear – a town her Irish parents ended up in by accident – now living near York.

    Laura writes about memory, what we mean by ‘home’ and being Irish in Britain. Alongside her work as a freelance copywriter, she runs the portraiture and storytelling project Projecting Grief with photographer Jo Ritchie.

    Laura’s current work in progress, Commonplace, was long-listed for the Life Writing Prize in 2021. Her poetry and non-fiction writing has been published in Severine and The Mechanics’ Institute Review.

TLC Free Read Awards

  • Georgie Evans

    Georgie Evans is a writer from Halifax. She has published essays, poetry, and short fiction, and is currently working on her first novel.

  • Jo Flynn

    After winning the Roy Fisher Prize for poetry endorsed by the Poet Laureate, Jo’s debut poetry pamphlet Swallowing Sand was published and she’s since been featured at the National Poetry Library in London for short form poetry, shortlisted for the Jane Martin poetry prize, performed internationally and published by the likes of Dear Damsels, The Signal House Edition and Myth and Lore. Jo works day-to-day to champion writers through For Books’ Sake and Manchester City of Literature, and really just hopes to make sense of the world with words. And dogs.