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Past Winners

2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013

Theme: Journeys

Prose Judge: Jane Bailey

Winning Prose Piece
There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Horse Pill
by Stephanie Carty

Prose Runners-up
Travelling with Mary by Sophie Carabine
The Sleeping House by Tim Jeffreys
Pogácsa by Alex Wardrop

Prose Highly Commended
Embers of Memory by Catherine Awel
Mrs Brown’s Boys by Sue Jay Johnston
Running Free by Pam Keevil
Freight by Imogen Rae
Skin Deep by Marilyn Timms


Poetry Judge: Philip Rush

Winning Poem
Shift: self-portrait as a set of watercolour pencils
by Sarah Hemings

Poetry Runners-up
From Artist to Model —- The Journey of Dorelia McNeill
by Iris Anne Lewis
Puncture Repair by Chris Hemingway
Her Husband by Pauline Masurel

Poetry Highly Commended
Trans Siberia in the April Thaw by Catherine Baker
Journey to Bukhara by Clair Chilvers
How to Mend a Broken Heart by Gill Garrett
These Hands by Carol Sheppard
Leavings by Mark Woods

Theme: Voices

Prose Judge: Kate Frost

Winning Prose Piece
In Captivity by Philip Douch

Prose Runners-up
Bind Us Together by Rebecca Klassen
Exposed by Marilyn Timms
Please Leave a Message by Christine Griffin

Prose Highly Commended
Did you Cut Your Fringe Yourself? by Sallie Anderson
Smoosh by Geoffrey Mead
A Cacophony of Sound by Mrs Julie Wiltshire
Warrior by Cindy Moss

Poetry Judge: Adam Horovitz

Winning Poem
The War against Speech by Frank McMahon

Poetry Runners-up
The Displaced Child by Kathryn Alderman
St Olaves by Jean Cooper Moran
The Conservation of Difficult Birds by Rose Lennard

Poetry Highly Commended

Limassol by Sophie Loose
Miss Bailey Sits by Christine Griffin
Phantom Tongue by Bethan Manley
Russian Dolls by Marilyn Timms

Theme: Signposts

Prose Judge: Debbie Young

Winning Prose Piece
I Found Myself Lost by Pauline Masurel

Prose Runners-up
Land of My Fathers by Catherine Brennan
Extreme Hide and Seek by Stephanie Carty
Spotting the Signs by Lindsey Williams

Prose Highly Commended
Thomas Taylor, Ship’s Boy, 1745 by Sallie Anderson
Carriers of Grief by Cheryl Burman
Recovery by Alexandra Kilworth
One Day by Julia Sutherland

Poetry Judge: Carrie Etter

Winning Poem
Eastertide by Sarah Hemings

Poetry Runners-up
Horseman by Christine Griffin
Blaenavon by Derek Healy
Finding the Way by Sheila Spence

Poetry Highly Commended
Clapham Fox by Liz Carew
Breaths by Josephine Lay
Cornish Legacy by Michael Newman
Moth-balled Country by Kathryn Southworth

Theme: My World

Poetry Judge: Sarah James/Leavesley

Poetry winner: Marilyn Timms – Final Gig at the Motorway Services

Poetry runners-up:
Iris Anne Lewis – Earthrise
Christine Griffin – Old Times
Derek Healy – Uncharted

Poetry Highly Commended:
Michael Newman – Bird Feeding
Kathryn Alderman – How to Forecast During a Pandemic
Grace Spencer – Wanderings
Catherine Baker – Landscape with Roads
Clare Finnimore – Harebushes Wood
Val Ormrod – Hidden

Prose Judge: Tyler Keevil

Prose winner: Robin Darrock – Strands

Prose runners-up:
Iris Anne Lewis – Two Dark Shadows
Tony Domaille – The Wall
Joanna Campbell – Cage in the Sky

Prose commended:
Catherine Brennan – Developing
Kim Botly – Turquoise
Lesley Evans – Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Liz Carew – Garden Party
Jan Turk Petrie – Moon Shadows
Michael Hurst – Late Fuel

Theme: Numbers

Poetry Judge: Stephen Daniels

Poetry winner: Sarah Hemings – Vestry

Poetry runners-up:
Phil Kirby – Gathering
David Hale – Safety in Numbers
David Hale – Five Minutes

Poetry commended:
Michael Newman – Playing the Game
Phil Kirby – Scanner
Roger Hale –The Golden Ratio

Prose Judge: Amanda Reynolds

Prose winner: Julie Carthy – Coping by Numbers

Prose runners-up:
Mandy Robotham – Numbers not required
Catherine Brennan – Private Number
Liz Carew – The Weigh-In

Prose commended:
Sophie Flynn – Countdown to the Kiss
Tom Ware– The Perfect 10
Joanna Campbell – Winter Starlings

Theme: East Meets West

Poetry Judge: Anna Saunders

Poetry winner: David Hale – Cranes Flying

Poetry runners-up:
Catherine Baker – Waiting for the Boat
Derek Healy – Love’s Convergence
Marilyn Timms – Public School – Private Hell

Poetry commended:
Frances March
Samantha Pearce
Johnny Porter

Prose Judge: Kim Feet

Prose winner: Emma Kernahan – The Locals

Prose runners-up:
Lynda Fowke – The Shawl
Iris Anne Lewis – Call me Shadi, Muna, Nasima
Marilyn Timms – Bride Price

Prose commended:
Ali Bacon
Joanna Campbell
Kathy O’Grady

Theme: Who Do We Think We Are?

Poetry Judge: Roy McFarlane

Poetry Winner: Frances March – 1956: Sheltered

Poetry Runners up:
Julie Wiltshire – I am a Memorial to the Tortured Soul
Belinda Rimmer – Scoot
Liz Carew – Ferr’Agosto Day
Irene Anne Lewis – Matryoshka
Jennie Farley – Changes

Prose Judge: Lania Knight

Prose Winner: Nastasya Parker – The Maze

Prose Runners up:
Judith Green – The day is marked; the minutes taken, captured, fact to fiction; fact …
Jeff Taylor – Stories from a Geriatric Ward
Val Ormrod – This Day, This Day
Jim Moeller – Benefits
Cindy Moss – Deep Breath

Theme: ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’

Poetry Judge: Phil Kirby

Poetry Winner: Gill Garrett – The Irish Girls 1968

Poetry Runners up:
Lania Knight – Virgil Hits the Trail
Derek Healy – Giving Away
Judith van Dijkhuizen – How to Enjoy Learning the Piano
Julie Allan – Landscape. Or portrait.
Michael Newman – Tree Talk
Shauna Robertson – His Own North

Prose Judge: Eugene Lambert

Prose Winner: Alex Clark – Shoals

Prose Runners up:
Christine Griffin – Homecoming
Michael Hurst – A Hundred and Three Miles
Graham Bruce Fletcher – X47B
Christine Griffin – An Album of Postcards

Theme: Crossroads

Poetry Judge: Angela France

Poetry Winner: Judith van Dijkhuizen – Bridge House

Poetry Runners up:
Anna Saunders – Between Dog and Wolf
Iris Lewis – Woodland Burial
Dominic James – North Bound Train
Chris Hemingway – A Heritage Day trip on the Hellhound Bus
Toni Wilde – Suspicion
David Ashbee – The Bird Table

Prose Judge: Sophie Livingston

Prose Winner: Philip Douch – Drive

Prose Runners up:
Rick Vick – Seeing
John Holland – Strange Fruit – An Imagining
J R Moeller – Taking Tea with the Natives
Gill Garrett – Epiphany

Theme: Brave New World

Poetry Judge: David Clarke

Poetry Winner: Sheila Spence – Brave New Person

Poetry Runners up:
Judi Marsh – They are left books …
Derek Healy – New Ways to War, 1914
Allegra Etheridge/Russell Burgess – Six Gig of RAM
Guy Hunter – Special Delivery
Marianne Hellwig John – Inheritance
Jay Ramsay – Vision from Assisi

Prose Judge: Wilkie Martin

Prose Winner: Iris Lewis – No Small Thing

Prose Runners up:
Christine Griffin – The City of Light
Gill Garrett – The Drop
Christine Godsell – The End . . . Or The Beginning
Sue Cross – The Tornado
Graham Fletcher – All Men Are Fools. And what makes them so is having beauty like what I have got. . .

Theme: Memory

Poetry Judge: Jennie Farley

Poetry Winner: Gill Garrett – Retrospect

Poetry Runners up:
Eley Furrell – Swarf
Miki Byrne – Coal Thieves
Cedric Pickin – Pickin
Derek Healy – Walking Leckhampton
Judith van Dijkhuizen – Lotti
Malcolm Williams – Grandmother

Prose Judge: Jennifer Cryer

Prose Winner: Pauline Kiernan – The Fat Man at The Bar

Prose Runners up:
Marilyn Timms – Amitriptylene revisited
John Holland – The Song
Jan Petrie – Memento Mori
Wendy Campbell – I wish

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