The 2018 Awards was chosen by a panel of industry experts:
- Kerry Hudson’s first novel, TONY HOGAN BOUGHT ME AN ICE-CREAM FLOAT BEFORE HE STOLE MY MA was published in 2012 by Chatto & Windus (Penguin Random House) and was the winner of the Scottish First Book Award while also being shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, THIRST, was published in 2014 by Chatto & Windus and won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction the Prix Femina Étranger. It was also shortlisted for the European Premio Strega in Italy. Her non-fiction book, LOWBORN, launches in May and takes her back to the towns of her childhood as she investigates her own past and what it means to be poor in Britain today. Kerry founded The WoMentoring Project and was commissioned by the Writers’ Centre Norwich to give a provocation on diversity as part of their ‘National Conversation’ series.
- Ali Lewis is the Marketing, Special Projects and Editorial Manager at The Poetry School, a national arts organisation providing inspiring tuition and opportunities for poets and poetry audiences. He manages the Poetry School’s ‘Primers’ and ‘New North Poets’ mentoring schemes, the Ginkgo Ecopoetry Prize, and partnerships with other leading arts organisations. Along with colleague Will Barrett, he runs the Poetry School’s Campus blog, which features poems and reviews by emerging writers. His own poetry has appeared in magazines including The Poetry Review, The Rialto, Ambit and Magma.
- Aki Shilz is the Editorial Services Manager for The Literary Consultancy and published writer. Aki Schilz has a Bachelor in English and French Literature from the University of Oxford, and an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from Bath Spa University. She is the winner of the inaugural Visual Verse Prize, supported by Andrew Motion, and the inaugural Bare Fiction Prize for Flash Fiction. Her short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been shortlisted for the HG Wells Prize and the Fish Prize, and appear in print (Popshot Magazine, The Colour of Saying, Kakania, An Unreliable Guide to London, Birdbook: Saltwater and Shore, Best Small Fictions 2015, Year’s Best Weird Fiction Vol. 4) and online (tNY.press, The Bohemyth, Synaesthesia Magazine, Annexe Magazine, Cheap Pop Lit, Mnemoscape Magazine, And Other Poems). She is a member of #BAMEinPublishing, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and sits on the Advisory Board for Penned in the Margins. In 2018, Aki was announced as one of the #FutureBook40, a list of the UK’s top 40 innovators in publishing, for her work at TLC and her #BookJobTransparency which focuses on positive activism to encourage greater salary transparency within the publishing industry.
- Catherine Cho is an agent at Curtis Brown Literary Agency. Originally from the U.S.; she studied English literature at New York University. She lived in Hong Kong for several years and received a J.D. from the University of Hong Kong. She worked as a literary assistant and Contracts Manager for Folio Literary Management in New York and then moved to London. Currently, Catherine is building her own list of fiction and non-fiction. She’s particularly looking to work with debut writers.
- Anthony Anaxagorou is a British Cypriot award-winning poet, fiction writer, essayist and publisher. He has written several volumes of poetry, a spoken-word EP and a collection of short stories. His new collection of poetry After the Formalities is forthcoming with Penned in the Margins in September 2019. He’s an honorary fellow at the University of Roehampton where he lectures in the humanities. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Poetry Review, Granta, The Rialto, Oxford Poetry, Wildness, The Feminist Review and elsewhere. It’s also been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio London, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts.