Since 2007, the Bridport Prize has had an award specifically for Dorset writers. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of The Book Shop, Bridport’s independent book store, there is an extra bonus for the highest placed Dorset writer in the Bridport Prize each year.
The Bridport Prize is one of the top competitions for new writing, with entries coming from as far afield as New Zealand, Canada, Egypt and Japan and with top prizes of £5,000. To honour the roots of the competition in Bridport, Dorset, this prize rewards the highest placed Dorset writer with an extra prize of £100 plus a specially commissioned trophy, based on Hardy's Monument.
"Those of us who help organise the Bridport Prize - opening the thousands of entries, sorting, coding and sending them off to our distinguished judges - we love the fact that entries come from all over the world. But then when we have a local winner, it is so exciting somehow. It's hard to explain, but it just feels so special that one of our local writers can win against professionals and amateurs from all over the world! It feels right that we should acknowledge that and give them a little something extra" said Frances Everitt, competition administrator from 2001 to 2014.
The Bridport Prize is most grateful to Antonia Squire owner and manager of The Book Shop for support in encouraging creative writing in Dorset. The shop, established in the town for over 38 years, offers the discerning reader an eclectic selection of general literature but also specializing in local books. Not the usual run of the mill, The Book Shop is a characterful and welcoming place to visit.
The tenth award was presented at the 2016 prizegiving lunch to Sarah Barr for her poem ‘Making tea, drinking coffee.
The artist commissioned to make the first part of the trophy or sculpture is James Verner, the furniture designer/maker, based near Marshwood. His sculptural pieces, made from beautiful, sustainable, indigenous timber, have established him at the vanguard of the contemporary furniture scene.
Dorset Award 2016 winner Sarah Barr receives her award from Bridport Arts Centre Director Laura Cockett