The Dorset Award

The Dorset Award was established in 2007 to recognise the achievement of the writer from Dorset placed highest in the competition. It can be awarded across any of the four competition categories.

In 2019, the Award was presented to Maria Donovan from Bridport for her flash fiction entry 'Aftermath'. 

Maria Donovan enjoys learning languages and writing fiction. Her debut novel, The Chicken Soup Murder, was a finalist for the Dundee International Book Prize and runner-up in the Dorchester Literature Festival Writing Prize 2019. Maria grew up in Bridport before moving to the Netherlands, where she trained as a nurse. She travelled around Europe as a musician and performer, studied English at the University of Glamorgan, and worked as a teacher there, becoming a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing. She now lives back home in Bridport and is writing full time: mainly flash fiction, short stories and her second novel.

The Award is generously sponsored by The Book Shop, Bridport's independent book store and we thank them for their ongoing support.

"Winning the Bridport Prize was an overwhelming and wonderful experience. Sometimes we can isolate ourselves as writers. The Bridport Prize introduced me to a fascinating group of people from around the world who love art and who struggle in different ways with writing, which was comforting and inspiring beyond belief. I would encourage anyone who is nervous about submitting their work to have a little faith and go for it."

Natalya Anderson, 1st prize Poetry 2014

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