2012 press releases

P R E S S   R E L E A S E  

August 2012


Bridport Arts Centre pays tribute to Bridport Prize Volunteers

At a party to celebrate and acknowledge the Bridport Prize volunteers, Trevor Ware, chairman of Bridport Arts Centre, and Polly Gifford, director, praised the unstinting efforts made by those who help ensure the success of the internationally known poetry and short story competition.

Frances Everitt, administrator of the competition, paid tribute to three volunteers, who sadly passed away this year – John Surry, a reader for the short stories for many years, Arthur Ash and Tony Brooks.  She welcomed new readers and volunteers to the group.

Particular thanks were given to Ray Gibbs and Peter Laurie who have overseen the website and online presence of the prize, and who were now stepping down after 12 years.  In 2001 the Bridport Prize became one of the first (if not the first) competition to offer online entry. This certainly increased the entry levels from overseas - 79 countries were represented in 2011 and nearly 30% of online entries were from abroad.  Ray and Peter’s hard work over the years has had a significant effect on the continued success of the competition and Trevor Ware thanked them both on behalf of the Arts Centre.

A new website for the competition has been built, with the same web address:


Have a look to keep up-to-date with what’s happening.  In addition to information about the competition and the winners, you can now buy, online, books that have a connection to the Bridport Prize.




Press release January 2012

The Bridport Prize 2012

International Creative Writing Competition

Fay Weldon CBE, Novelist and Bridport Prize Patron:

“Mention the Bridport Prize and the eyes of writers everywhere light up. It’s not just the money – though that’s not to be sneezed at – it’s a prize really worth fighting for in terms of prestige and genuine literary accomplishment.”

The Bridport Prize is one of the richest OPEN writing competitions in the English language – with £5000 first prize for a short story (of up to 5000 words); and £5000 first prize for a poem (of up to 42 lines). The category of Flash Fiction attracts a first prize of £1,000 to be won for the best short, short story of under 250 words.

The Bridport is also known as a tremendous literary stepping-stone – the first step in the careers of writers such as Kate Atkinson, Tobias Hill, Carol Ann Duffy and Helen Dunmore.

Anyone can enter – so long as the work is previously unpublished. It costs £8 per story, £7 per poem or £6 per flash fiction and the NEW closing date is 31st May 2012. Entries can be made by post or online:


Postal entry forms are available online or by sending an SAE to: The Bridport Prize, PO Box 6910, Dorset DT6 9BQ, UK

Judges this year are Patrick Gale for short stories and Gwyneth Lewis for poems (see links below for biogs & photos).

The prizegiving will be during the Bridport Open Book Festival in October, in which the judges and other well known writers give readings and masterclasses, plus many other live and participatory events. Winners will be given the opportunity to participate in the Festival.

The Anthology of the 33 winning stories and poems of 2011, plus judges reports, is now available online or from the above address for £12 (inc UK post, or £15 inc overseas post).

“Winning the Bridport has been a delight and an honour. Venerable and international, it is the prize writers long to win.  But I almost didn’t enter. ‘Cut Loose’, which emerged from the memory of a creaky little room at the top of a shed in Denver, a room seen once but never forgotten, was a story I thought readers might find too strange and uncomfortable. I dithered, then submitted it just hours before the deadline in May.

"On prize giving day, which was a glorious occasion, I spoke to contest readers,  judges, administrators... and was struck by how much care and rigour goes into the process of selection and how committed the prize is to supporting writers. The first prize win was tremendously affirming."

Wendy Brandmark (UK) winner, Short Story competition 2016

What now?

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