The Dorset Award

The Dorset Award was established in 2007 to recognise the achievement of the writer from Dorset placed highest in the competition. It can be awarded across any of the four competition categories.

In 2019, the Award was presented to Maria Donovan from Bridport for her flash fiction entry 'Aftermath'. 

Maria Donovan enjoys learning languages and writing fiction. Her debut novel, The Chicken Soup Murder, was a finalist for the Dundee International Book Prize and runner-up in the Dorchester Literature Festival Writing Prize 2019. Maria grew up in Bridport before moving to the Netherlands, where she trained as a nurse. She travelled around Europe as a musician and performer, studied English at the University of Glamorgan, and worked as a teacher there, becoming a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing. She now lives back home in Bridport and is writing full time: mainly flash fiction, short stories and her second novel.

The Award is generously sponsored by The Book Shop, Bridport's independent book store and we thank them for their ongoing support.

"The Bridport Prize is a great way to test out a first novel. The graduated judging process, which involves real readers and industry experts, provides exposure of an ideal kind.

To know that you have come through from a pool of over 800 is hugely encouraging in the long, lonely struggle (even if you suspect that better writers may not have been so lucky).

"I am so grateful to the organisers - and still wonder just how they managed with such efficiency so many submissions - a brilliant idea brilliantly executed."


Richard Holmes (UK) short-listed in the Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel 2016

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