2003 judges

Short Story Judge: Rose Tremain

Novelist Rose Tremain was born in 1943 in London.

She was educated at the Sorbonne and is a graduate of the University of East Anglia, where she taught creative writing from 1988-95. Her publications include novels and short-story collections, and she is also the author of a number of radio and television plays. She was awarded an honorary LittD by the University of East Anglia in 2000.  

Her first novel, Sadler's Birthday, was published in 1976. This was followed by Letter to Sister Benedicta (1978), The Cupboard (1981) and The Swimming Pool Season (1985), which won the Angel Literary Award. Restoration (1989), set during the reign of Charles II, tells the story of Robert Merivel, an anatomy student and Court favourite, who falls in love with the King's mistress. The novel won the Angel Literary Award, the Sunday Express Book of the Year award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. It was made into a film in 1996. 

Her other novels include Sacred Country (1992), winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction) and the prestigious Prix Fémina Etranger (France), about a young girl's crisis of gender and identity; The Way I Found Her (1997), a psychological thriller set in Paris; and Music and Silence (1999), winner of the Whitbread Novel Award, a historical novel set in the early seventeenth century, the story of an English lute player, Peter Claire, employed at the Danish Court to play for King Christian IV. The Colour (2003), set in New Zealand at the time of the West Coast Gold Rush in the 1860s, was shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Rose Tremain has published several collections of short stories, including The Colonel's Daughter and Other Stories (1984), The Garden of the Villa Mollini and Other Stories (1987) and Evangelista's Fan and Other Stories (1994). 

She was chosen as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Novelists' in a promotion by the literary magazine Granta in 1983, and was a judge for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1988 and in 2000. She reviews and broadcasts regularly for press and radio, and lives in Norfolk and London.

Rose Tremain's later books are a collection of short stories: The Darkness of Wallis Simpson (2005); and a novel, The Road Home (2007), shortlisted for the 2007 Costa Novel Award and winner of the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent novel is Trespass (2010).

Rose Tremain was awarded a CBE in 2007.  


Poetry Judge: U A Fanthorpe (deceased)

U. A. Fanthorpe was born in Kent in 1929 and attended St Anne's College, Oxford (1949-53) and the University of London Institute of Education (1953-4), afterwards becoming an assistant English teacher, and later Head of English, at Cheltenham Ladies' College (1962-70). In 1971 she took a diploma in school counselling at University College, Swansea, and later worked as a hospital clerk in Bristol. This latter experience provided the backdrop for her first collection, Side Effects (1978), which records the invisible lives and voices of psychiatric patients. 

U. A. Fanthorpe was Arts Council Writing Fellow at St Martin's College, Lancaster (1983-5), and Northern Arts Literary Fellow at the universities of Newcastle and Durham (1987-8). She became Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1988, and held honorary doctorates from the University of West England and the University of Gloucestershire. She was awarded Hawthornden Fellowships between 1987 and 1997. In 1989 she became a full-time writer, and often gave readings of her work, mostly in the UK and occasionally abroad. Many of her poems are for two voices, and in her readings the other voice was taken by R. V. Bailey. 

The first woman to be nominated for the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry, U. A. Fanthorpe was also shortlisted for the 1996 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) for Safe as Houses, and was a leading contender for the post of Poet Laureate in 1999. Consequences (2000), was a Poetry Book Society recommendation, and Christmas Poems (2002), brings together a collection of poems that she sent out to friends as Christmas cards from 1974 onwards. Her last collection was Queuing for the Sun (2003), and her Collected Poems was published in 2004. Homing In: Selected Local Poems (2006), celebrates her home county of Gloucestershire.

In 2001 U. A. Fanthorpe was made CBE for services to poetry. She was also awarded the 2003 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

U. A Fanthorpe died in April 2009.

“Winning one of the Highly Commended Prizes at Bridport 2016 was a thrill and delight. I felt honoured and humbled to be among the roll call of your prestigious competition. 

Most importantly, to have had the intellect, talent and grace of such a remarkable poet as Patience Agbabi choosing the winners was an amazing feeling and a massive confidence boost.

"Your organisers and administration are second to none in making your participating writers feel respected, honoured and celebrated. I applaud and commend you."

Eilis Stanley (IRL) – highly commended, Poetry competition 2016

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