TALENTED writers from all over the world have had their work recognised in an annual competition celebrating creativity.

The Bridport Prize has been running for 46 years and attracted almost 10,000 entries from 74 countries this year.

Judges had a difficult choice in narrowing down the winners across four categories for the prestigious competition.

The winners have now been announced and will be welcomed at an event at the Bridport Arts Centre this weekend – which is set to further cement the town’s reputation as an arts hub.

The winners are: 

  • Poetry: Mary-Jane Holmes from Middleton-in-Teesdale
  • Short story: Nicholas Ruddock, from Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • Flash fiction: Terry Warren, from Bridport
  • First novel: Deepa Anappara, from Colchester

Mr Warren also wins the Dorset Award as the highest-placed writer from Dorset in the competition. This award is sponsored by The Bookshop on South Street.

Mr Warren, 56, said he was thrilled with his win. He added: “It’s the first time I’ve entered anything like this. I’ve been writing for some time but it was some friends who said I should do something about it, and because it’s a local thing it seemed a good place to start.

“I had no idea how big an event it was.”

Mr Warren, who works part-time in marketing, said he was so shocked to get a phone call saying he had won the category that he refused to believe it until he saw it in writing.

He added: “It is amazing to have such a prestigious competition on our doorstep. There are so many creative people in Bridport, it is a real hub. There are so many great musicians and actors – my son is a film maker and my daughter works in television and theatre. I think competitions like this really encourage everyone to get out there and get more involved.”

Prize administrator Kate Wilson said she and the judges were ‘delighted’ with the standard of entries this year, and that so many entries were received from all over the world.

The event was founded by Peggy Chapman-Andrews as a fundraiser for the Bridport Arts Centre, which she also set up at the same time. The competition still fulfils that function today.

Kate said: “It’s become so much more than that, but the fundraiser is still its primary role.”

The nature of the event as an open competition, plus the prize money on offer, has helped drive its success, she believes. The first novel award also offers a year's worth of mentoring, which helps new writers develop their skills even further. The winning work of the short story, flash fiction and poetry categories will be published in an anthology, which goes on sale at the Arts Centre from next week.

There will also be a prize giving at the Arts Centre on Saturday.

Here are all the winners and judges


POETRY WINNERS                                   Judge | Lemn Sissay


1st        Siren Call                                          Mary-Jane Holmes, Middleton-in-Teesdale

2nd       River Climber                                    Simon Murphy, Bristol       

3rd        Resurrection                                     Graham Burchell, Rattery, Devon


Highly Commended (alphabetical by title)


Advice for Daughters                                  Claudia Daventry, St. Andrews, Fife

Ectopic pregnancy                                      Maresa Sheehan, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, Ire.

Ghazal of Mourning                                                Susan Zatland, Gerrards Cross, Bucks

I am pig                                                          Charlie Mountford, Stratford, Ontario, Canada 

Niece comes out of the attic                       Michelle Lovric, London

Nightwalking                                                Julia Bell, London

Painting a sun-room an off-white             David Forest Hitchcock, Fayetteville, NY, USA

Rough                                                                        Claire Williamson, Bristol

Stone                                                             Isabelle McNeill, Cambridge

Unthinkably I leave you                              Victoria Richards, London


SHORT STORY WINNERS                      Judge | Peter Hobbs


1st        Esther                                                Nicholas Ruddock, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

2nd       Ends                                                   Chris Neilan, Manchester

3rd        Queen of the Forest                                    Ben Hinshaw, Davis, California, USA


Highly Commended (alphabetical by title)


Cooking a Wolf                                            Nicholas Burbidge, London

Girvan Blues                                                 Karen Ashe, Glasgow

Grunion Running                                        Kate Carne, Oxford

Must be true                                                  Stacey Swann, Austin, Texas, USA

Old Harbour                                                  Rebecca F. John, Swansea

Subjunctive Moods                                      C.G. Menon, Trumpington, Cambridge

The Best Thing                                             Colin Walsh, Brussels, Belgium

The Cockerel                                                            Ruth Figgest, Eastbourne

To Be                                                              Neal Moore, Taipei, Taiwan

Verichrome                                                   David Ye, Irvine, California, USA


FLASH FICTION WINNERS                     Judge | Kit de Waal


1st        Buttercups                                         Terry Warren, Bridport, Dorset

2nd       Confirmation Class                         Joanna Campbell, Bisley, Gloucestershire

3rd        Runaway                                           Jacquelyn Shreeves-Lee, London


Highly Commended (alphabetical by title)


On the seventy-third day                            Gabriela Paloa, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Absence                                                        Michelle Wright, Eltham, Victoria, Australia

Sea bite                                                         Barbara Leahy, Cork, Ireland


Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel


1st Prize

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line                Deepa Anappara, Colchester


The Sentence                                               Stephanie Scott, London


Shortlist (alphabetical by title)


The Embalming                                Jo Browning Wroe, Cambridge

The Waiting Rooms                         Eve Carpenter, Witney, Oxfordshire

Sugar Bird                                         Claire Bassi, Nantwich, Cheshire


Longlist (alphabetical by title)

A Crack in the Door                                                 Helen Ryan

A Dream of Something Falling                              Scott Lupasko

A Fancy-Dress Genocide                                       Daniel Magnowski

A Fatal Mercy                                                            Thomas Moore

Albany                                                                       Stephanie Artley

Al in Sarah Gee’s Head                                          Nasser Hashmi

Billy Watkins                                                             Georgina McArthur

Here in Eden                                                            Elizabeth Loudon

May Never                                                                 Steve Herrington

Nuance of Nothing                                                  Tammy Boyce

Skinned                                                                     Peter Lewenstein

The Arrow Garden                                                   Andrew King

The Scribbler’s Tales                                              Anna James

The Second Heart                                                   Mary Downes

The Passenger                                                         Ailsa Caine


THE DORSET PRIZE                                           


Presented to the highest placed writer from Dorset in the competition each year.


Sponsored by The Book Shop, South Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3NQ


Buttercups (flash fiction)                                        Terry Warren, Bridport, Dorset