2012 judges

Short Story & Flash Fiction Judge: Patrick Gale

Patrick Gale

What Patrick will be looking for in the winning stories:

"I'm under no illusions that the short story is an easy form simply because of its brevity. The few that succeed somehow pack the wallop of a novel into a tiny space. I don't look for twists or surprises particularly, and I'm equally interested in material that is funny, sad or sinister, but I will be looking for stories which leave me feeling I've had a full meal emotionally, not just a starter..."

Patrick Gale has written fourteen novels, the twelfth of which, Notes from an Exhibition, was the Independent Booksellers’ Association Adult Book of 2008 and a Richard and Judy selection. Rough Music, A Sweet Obscurity and Friendly Fire, are beginning to win him a European following thanks to successful translations into French and Dutch. His thirteenth novel, The Whole Day Through was a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime and a Sainsbury’s Book Club selection. 2009 saw the publication of Gentleman’s Relish, his second collection of short stories. His fourteenth novel, A Perfectly Good Man, was published by Fourth Estate in March 2012 and is the second of his novels to have been picked by the Richard and Judy Book Club. He’s only the fourth author to have been so singled out.

He was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962, raised in Winchester and educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He now lives on his husband’s farm at Land’s End in Cornwall. As well as writing fiction, he regularly teaches creative writing courses. He is a keen musician, playing the ’cello in the Belerion Consort, the Tartini Ensemble and the Penzance Orchestral Society. He is a dog lover, a keen cook and an obsessive gardener.

To find out more about Patrick and his novels, visit www.galewarning.org. You can also find him on Facebook, where there are also pages devoted to A Perfectly Good Man and Patrick Gale Writing Courses. If you tweet and want to follow him, Patrick’s Twitter tag is @PNovelistGale.


Poetry Judge: Gwyneth Lewis

Gwyneth writes: "I will be looking that electricity which plays along the surface of language under unusual pressure – whether that be exerted by originality, intelligence, awareness or all the above."

Gwyneth Lewis was the National Poet of Wales 2005-06. She’s an award- winning author of eight books of poetry, her latest is Sparrow Tree (Bloodaxe 2011) which won the Roland Mathias Poetry Award. She’s written two memoirs – Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book on Depression and Two in a Boat. Words she composed are on the front of the Wales Millennium Centre in six-foot high letters, rumoured to be the largest poem in the world.

Gwyneth has a doctorate from Oxford University. In the 1980s she was a Harkness Fellow at Harvard and then Columbia University, New York. She has been a NESTA Awardee and has received Wellcome Trust and Creative Wales Awards. Gwyneth is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff and Liverpool Universities and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is also an Hon Fellow of Bangor University. Recently she has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, the Stanford Humanities Center and Girton College, Cambridge. Gwyneth worked as a television documentary producer at the BBC and has written plays, libretti and a novella.


“It’s incredibly affirming to have a poem placed in a competition as prestigious as the Bridport. As well as the immense personal pleasure, it’s really satisfying to know that the few verses you’ve worked on in solitude for so long have communicated their essence, the meaning you wanted them to have, to someone else."

Caroline Price (UK) - 3rd place Poetry competition 2016

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