AWARD-WINNING novelist Monica Ali will be among the judging panel of authors talking about their experiences in a special event for anyone who lives reading and writing.

An Evening with the Bridport Prize judges will be at Bridport Arts Centre on Friday, October 19 at 7pm.

Come and be inspired by the writers who are this year’s Bridport Prize judges –Daljit Nagra (Poetry), Monica Ali (Short Story

and Flash Fiction) and Kamila Shamsie (The Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel).

Founded in 1973, the Bridport Prize International Writing Competition is the arts centre’s flagship project. It attracts many thousands of entries from across the world each year, it has grown to become one of the most widely respected creative writing competitions in the English language.

Every year the judges, who are some of the biggest names in literature, make their way to Bridport to hand out over $18,000 in prizes for the best submissions in poetry, short stories, flash fiction and first novels. This year they will be hosting an evening at Bridport Arts Centre where they will talk about their writing and their experiences judging the prize.

Monica Ali, writer of the bestseller Brick Lane, said: "I will be looking for stories that are strongly voiced, and that are not simply undernourished versions of authorial restraint. I would like to read stories with some humour in them. I do not mean comedy, although I do not rule out comic stories - would welcome them, in fact.

"If the stories address real world matters, so much the better. If they simultaneously take some risks, bend genres and contain even a glimmer of humour that would be yet better. I am hoping for stories that bring together character, theme, setting and whatever other craft element in actual scenes, rather than simply long meditations and pretty sentences.

"I also like pretty sentences. I thirst for characters that are unpredictable, surprising, maybe even loathsome, or perhaps entirely endearing. I crave, above all, stories written with urgency and earth shattering emotional honesty. The ring of truth, that’s it, that’s my bottom line”.

Kamila Shamsie who recently won the Women's Prize for Fiction for her novel Home Fire, said: “I’ll be looking for stories that take risks, stories that understand form and are engaged with the possibilities of language, stories that stay with me long after I’ve finished reading them.”

Dalit Nagra, BBC 4 poet in residence, said: "I want to feel the poet has enjoyed writing the poem, I want to feel their authority over the words and layout."

Come and see if they discovered what they were hoping for. It will be an unmissable event for everyone who loves, reading,w writing and words.

Lisa Wilcock, who promoted this year's Bridport Prize, said: “It’s a delight and an honour to see some of the biggest names in literature make their way to to Bridport. Kamilla Shamsie released one of the most celebrated novels of 2018, Monica Ali is a phenomenally successful writer and Dlajit Nagra is one of the most respected poets in the country.

"Year after year we see unknown writers claiming their prize from celebrated judges and going on to achieve great things.

"The Bridport Prize is something that the people of the town can really be proud of. Join us for this special night with the judges - it’s going to be a hugely enjoyable evening.”

*Evening with Bridport Prize Judges, Bridport Arts Centre, Friday, October 19, 7pm. Contact the box office for tickets.