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  • Sarah Ward (winner 2017) worked in community education for twenty years before returning to university to study for a PhD in Social Policy, which she is due to complete in 2018. She began developing the ideas for Resurrection, Port Glasgow during the MLitt Creative Writing programme at the University of Glasgow, and has continued to write with support and feedback from G2 Writers Group and Skriva Writing School. She has a family connection with Port Glasgow, where her grandparents lived, and where her grandfather worked in the shipyards as a plumber. Sarah lives in Glasgow with her husband and three children. Follow her @sward2205

  • Bibi Berki is a British writer and journalist, of Hungarian descent. After university, she trained as a news reporter and worked on daily regional and national newspapers, and as a producer at the BBC. She was one of the founder press officers of the then newly-formed Greater London Authority. Berki self-publishes fiction both under her own name and as HA Ferdinand. She says she entered independent publishing with reservations but acknowledges that she owes it everything. She lives in South London with her husband and two children. Follow on: @haferdinand

  • Louise Hare is a London-based travel expert and is a part-time student on the MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including her shortlisted novel which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common. Her shortlisted novel got published in hardback, e-book and audio book in spring 2020 by HarperCollins with the title This Lovely City, and has been longlisted for the 2021 Royal Society of Literature Ondatje Prize. Her short story The Odyssey of Dee Lennox was shortlisted for the 2016 Just Write Creative Writing Competition (in association with Writing Magazine and John Murray Press). In 2017 her piece Simian Ganglands was longlisted for the Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year. She also blogs book reviews and the occasional short story at Follow @LouRHare

  • Francesca King is a writer based in South East London. She currently splits her time between a Creative Writing MA at Royal Holloway, and tutoring leadership to overseas students. Francesca studied a Master of Fine Arts in Wyoming (USA) and was the winner of the 2022 Creative Writing Fellowship for fiction from the Wyoming Arts Council. Francesca is currently working on her first novel The Cello Hospital, about an English au pair who struggles to find her place in Paris. She hopes to encapsulate the sense of ‘voicelessness’ felt by many young people in post-Brexit Britain. @FrancescaKing7

  • Victoria MacKenzie is a fiction writer and poet living in the East Neuk of Fife. She is working on her first novel Brantwood, based on several years in the life of Victorian art critic and social reformer John Ruskin. She’s also writing a short story collection Creaturely, which explores what other species, both domestic and wild, mean to us. Her work is widely published in magazines and anthologies, including New Writing Scotland, Magma and The Book of Iona. Writing awards include a Bridge Award from Moniack Mhor and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. She also held an Emerging Writer Residency at Cove Park Artist Centre in 2014. She has a PhD from the University of St Andrews and works as a creative writing tutor for the Open College of the Arts. She is a member of Scottish PEN. Find her at:

  • Lesley Sanderson is a secondary school librarian, living and working in King’s Cross. She graduated recently from the Curtis Brown Creative six month novel writing course. Lesley grew up in Enfield and studied French/Theatre Studies at Warwick University. She is passionate about encouraging reading, languages, running and swimming. Lesley has previously written YA fiction. On The Edge is her first adult novel. Her short listed novel started life as On the Edge and got published as The Orchid Girls by Bookouture in 2018. In 2020 she published another acclaimed novel, the Leaving Party. Follow @LSandersonbooks.

  • Laura Shepperson is a London-based writer and lawyer.  She holds a Master of Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge and has a wide range of influences, from Virgil and Euripides to Henry James and Kazuo Ishiguro. Laura enjoys writing both creative non-fiction and fiction. Harriet’s Room, her first novel, explores questions about family and society - and ghosts.  Laura lives with her husband, Steven, in a house with many, many books. Instagram account here.


All Fiction Prize shortlistees by year