2009 judges

Short Story Judge: Ali Smith 

Ali SmithAli Smith was born in Inverness in 1962. Her first book, Free Love and Other Stories (1995), won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award.

Her first novel, Like, was published to critical acclaim in 1997. A second collection of short stories, Other Stories and Other Stories, was published in 1999, and The Whole Story and Other Stories in 2003. Her second novel, Hotel World (2001), won the Encore Award, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and the inaugural Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award. It was also shortlisted for both the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Booker Prize for Fiction, as was her 2005 novel, The Accidental, which won the Whitbread Novel Award. Girl Meets Boy was published in 2007.

She has also published a play, The Seer (2006), and her most recent collection of short stories is The First Person and Other Stories (2008). The Reader (2006) is an anthology of favourite pieces of writing gathered over the course of her life.

Ali Smith lives in Cambridge.


Poetry Judge: Jackie Kay

Jackie KayJackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She has published five collections of poetry for adults – THE ADOPTION PAPERS (winner of a Forward Prize, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award.)

OTHER LOVERS (which won the Somerset Maugham Award) and OFF COLOUR shortlisted for the 1999 TS Eliot Award. LIFE MASK and DARLING, New and Selected Poems (both Poetry Book Society Recommendations.)

Her first novel, TRUMPET (Picador, 1998) won the Guardian Fiction Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and The Author’s Club First Novel Award. It was also on the shortlist for the IMPAC award.

Her new collection of short stories, WISH I WAS HERE won the Decibel Writer of the Year award. She is a fellow of The Royal Society of Literature. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.  Her new collection of poetry for children, RED, CHERRY RED was published by Bloomsbury and won the CLYPE award.   THE LAMPLIGHTER, the play she wrote for the BBC to commemorate the abolition of the slave trade has just been published. She lives in Manchester with her son.

She was awarded an MBE in 2006. 

"What's most impressive about the event itself is the variety of voices as the winners read their poems and stories. With work represented from around the world, the effect is spellbinding. I will definitely enter again and make the Anthology a regular purchase."

Mark Fiddes (UK) 2nd prize, poetry competition 2015

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