Where are they now

Anne Stewart

Anne Stewart“I was so delighted to win the Bridport Prize, especially with a sonnet, which does seem to come in and drop out of fashion at very short notice. It’s such a highly respected award, and I still think, often, when I’m writing new work, of what the judge, David Harsent, said about the poem, as a measure of whether the new poem is up to scratch: "…what marks it out is the way this emotional commonplace is adapted to language … no line lacked a surprise … I liked its briskness – celebratory, but never cloying … where the notes in question sing and tease and intrigue".

Since winning the Bridport Prize poetry category in 2008 for ‘Still Water, Orange, Apple, Tea’, Anne Stewart has published two full poetry collections: ‘The Janus Hour’ (Oversteps Books, 2010) and, just out, ‘The Last Parent’ (Second Light Publications, 2019).

She won the Southport Prize in 2009 and was longlisted in the National Poetry Competition in 2011. In 2014, she was awarded the Poetry on the Lake (Italy) Silver Wyvern and a Hawthornden Fellowship.

She also has two short bilingual poetry collections published in Bucharest: ‘Only Here till Friday’ and ‘Let It Come to Us All’.


Polly Crosby

Polly CrosbyPolly Crosby, first novel award runner up in 2018 has just shared some wonderful news with us. Her Bridport Prize novel, “The Illustrated Child” will be published in the summer of 2020 as part of a two-book deal with Harper Collins in the UK and Park Row Books in the US. Her next novel is due out in the summer of 2021.

Polly had this to say “The last couple of years have been a whirlwind: understanding what it is to write a novel: seeing little pieces of plot and character come together and feeling a sort of pride in my work that ultimately led me trying to get it published.


The Bridport Prize was a huge part of that process. It made me take myself seriously as a writer and meant people in the publishing world started taking me seriously too. It was ultimately the Bridport win that made me throw caution to the wind and contact my agent, Juliet Mushens, even though I was in awe of her, because I realised that, actually, I had a good story!

 I am extremely grateful to you and all at the Bridport Prize for such an opportunity, and the prizegiving was such a special day (and the first time I read my novel to an audience. What an opportunity!).”

“It was exciting, especially having been a Bridport first prize winner a few years back, to hear my poem Advice for Daughters had been Highly Commended this year. I’ve had some successes in between but a bit of extra recognition — from another judge, another year in such a prestigious competition — that’s very affirming”.

Claudia Daventry (UK) Highly Commended, poetry competition 2017

What now?

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