Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal won the Bridport Prize with her flash fiction story Romans 1 Verse 29, Sins of the Heart in 2014 and again the following year with Crushing Big. She returned as a judge in 2017.

Her first novel My Name Is Leon was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. The Guardian said, “De Waal excels at bringing out the humanity of characters leading small lives on the fringe of huge social and political forces, struggling bravely not to be crushed by them.”

Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Kelleigh was our novel award winner in 2015 with Swan Song. The book was published in 2018 and received many accolades: it was longlisted for the 2019 women’s prize for fiction, won The Society of Authors McKitterick prize and was shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award. The Times said, “this novel never flags, and never forgets the duty to entertain.” The Guardian described it as “a skilled and sparkling debut.”

Ryan O’Connor

Ryan was highly commended for his short story in 2018. He is now editing his debut novel, The Speed of Falling.

“When I saw a message flash up ‘Bridport’ I thought it would be the standard ‘thank you for your submission but you’ve not been successful.’ In fact, it said I’d been highly commended from over 4,300 entries. I couldn’t take it in at first then I felt really emotional. At the prize giving, I was honoured to stand alongside the winners.”

Polly Crosby

Polly was our novel runner up in 2018 with The Illustrated Child. She has cystic fibrosis and has created bursaries for writers who are disabled or living with a long term illness. “I know how hard it can be. Add in the cost and it feels like an uphill struggle. I was lucky enough to be given opportunities, and I want to pay this forward.”

The Illustrated Child is published this year in the UK and US.

Stephanie Scott

Stephanie was runner up in the novel award in 2017 and her novel What’s Left of Me Is Yours was published this year. It was recently chosen as a New York Times Editor’s Pick and Stephanie was named as one of The Guardian / Observer Ten Best Debut Novelists of 2020. She was awarded a British Association of Japanese Studies Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on the novel and has been made a member of the British Japanese Law Association as a result of her research.

Eve Smith

Eve was shortlisted for the novel award in 2017. The Waiting Rooms is a speculative thriller set in the advent and aftermath of an antibiotic crisis. Published in the UK in July, it has since launched in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It was Long-listed for the Not the Booker Prize and described by Waterstones as “an exciting new voice in crime fiction.”  It was selected as a Book of the Month by Eric Brown in The Guardian who said:

“Smith combines the excitement of a medical thriller à la Michael Crichton with sensitive characterisation and social insight in a timely debut novel all the more remarkable for being conceived and written before the current pandemic.”

Deepa Anappara

Deepa won the novel award in 2017 and Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line was published this year in the UK and US. It was long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2020. It was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Val McDermid New Blood pick, and a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick. Deepa was selected as one of The Guardian / Observer Ten Best Debut Novelists of 2020. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is being translated into 22 languages.