2007 judges

Short Story Judge: Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier was born in October 1962 and grew up in Washington, DC. After taking a BA in English from Oberlin College (Ohio), she moved to London, England in 1984, and lives there still with her husband and son.

Tracy first worked in publishing, as a reference book editor for St. James Press, where she edited several encyclopedias about writers and writing. In 1993 she left office life to do an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where her tutors were the English novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain. There she began her first novel, The Virgin Blue, which was published in the UK in 1997. Since then she has published three other novels – Falling Angels (2001), The Lady and the Unicorn (2003), and the book she is best-known for, Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999), which has been translated into 34 languages and sold over 3 million copies around the world. It was made into a film starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson.

Tracy’s new novel, Burning Bright, about the poet/painter William Blake, is published in March 2007.

She is currently Chair of the Society of Authors.


Poetry Judge: Don Paterson

Don PatersonDon Paterson was born in 1963 in Dundee, Scotland. He moved to London in 1984 to work as a jazz musician, and began writing poetry around the same time.

His collections of poetry are Nil Nil (Faber, 1993), God’s Gift to Women (Faber, 1997), The Eyes (after Antonio Machado, Faber, 1999), Landing Light (Faber, 2003; Graywolf, 2004), Orpheus (a version of Rilke’s Die Sonette an Orpheus, Faber, 2006) and Rain (Faber, 2009; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).

He has published two books of aphorism, The Book of Shadows (Picador, 2004) and The Blind Eye (Faber, 2007), and a compendium, Best Thought, Worst Thought (Graywolf, 2008). He has also edited a number of anthologies.

His poetry has won a number of awards, including the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award, and the T S Eliot Prize on two occasions. Most recently, Rain won the 2009 Forward prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the English Association; he received the OBE in 2008 and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010.

He teaches poetry at the University of St Andrews, and since 1996 has been poetry editor at Picador MacMillan. He continues to perform and compose.

“Being Highly Commended in the Bridport Prize 2017 has really helped my confidence in thinking of myself as a writer. It’s all very well talking to yourself as you whittle away at the words on the page —it is when someone answers that the magic happens. Furthermore, on hearing about my award, someone put my name forward (their words: ‘I hope you realise how big a deal this prize is’) and I am now poet-in-residence on a new project: an exciting, provocative collaboration involving artists, academics, politicians and thinkers. So if hesitating about that entry, you just never know where it might lead”.

Susan Zatland (UK) Highly Commended, poetry competition 2017

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