Biographies of the 2017 Winners

Short Story Winner

 Paula Hunter, Wait

Paula Hunter grew up in Glasgow and defected to Edinburgh where she’s been a lawyer, butcher, fundraiser and florist but is usually at home with kids or up a mountain. Her fiction has appeared in Structo, TSS, Momaya Press, placed second in Exeter Short Story Prize and was twice longlisted for the Caledonia Novel Prize.


Short Story Runners-up

Douglas Bruton, The Mixing Up Of Love And Hate

 Douglas Bruton is a teacher in a high school in Scotland. He hopes he is a teacher that the children will talk about fondly when they are grown up and remembering. He writes, too. He writes because he has stories in his head. Sometimes his stories have something to say, about life and love and universal compassion – and those are his best stories. He has been published in many nice places and by good people including Brittle Star Magazine, The Irish Literary Review and Fiction Attic Press and Freight Books. Last year he came first in the Brighton Prize flash fiction competition.


Megan Taylor, Winter Break

Megan Taylor is the author of three novels, ‘How We Were Lost’,The Dawning’ and ‘The Lives of Ghosts’, as well as a collection, ‘The Woman Under the Ground and Other Stories’.  She was chosen as one of TSS Publishing’s ‘Selected Writers 2017-18’ and has further short stories due out in other anthologies this year.


Flash Fiction Winner

Haleh Agar, Jellyfish

Haleh Agar’s fiction and narrative non-fiction has been published in a number of magazines and journals including Mslexia and The National Association of Writers in Education. She has recently won the London Magazine Essay competition. Haleh has finished writing her debut novel which was shortlisted by Penguin Random House’s Write Now scheme. While working on her second novel, Haleh is learning to knit her first pair of socks.


Flash Fiction Runners-up

Sharon Boyle, Boulder

Sharon Boyle lives in East Lothian and writes around family life and a part-time job. She has had short stories and flash pieces published on-line and in magazines, including Writers’ Forum, The Moth and Sentinel Literary, and won first prizes in the 2016 HISSAC short story award and the 2017 Exeter Short Story. She is thrilled to have her flash story published in Rattle Tales. She has a (newish and unfancy) blog.


Sally Tissington,  Hoof

Sally Tissington is a writer and artist who teaches creativity at the University of Warwick where she combines theory with practical writing and making sessions.  She has a published novel ‘Crocodile on the Carousel’ and won the 2017 Jane Austen Short Story Prize with ‘Tomato Pushing Girl’. She is currently completing a collection of short stories. .


Sussex Prize Winner

Astra Bloom, The Art of Learning from Aunts is Hard to Master, it May Take Several Lifetimes and Fallen Angels

Astra Bloom writes fiction and poetry. She won the Bare Fiction poetry 2016, was shortlisted for Live Canon International Poetry 2017 and received a Brighton Poetry festival special mention. She made the Bridport short story shortlist 2016, and was a Bristol short story contender and Brighton Prize runner-up in 2016. She has currently has two novels longlisted by the Mslexia 2017 novel award. She also has poems forthcoming in Magma magazine and Under the Radar, and stories forthcoming in the ‘A Wild And Precious Life’ anthology. She likes taking photos of trees, listening to people on buses and wearing hats. She is a member of a working-class writers collective. Her top writing tips are drink lots of tea, write every day, don’t talk about it very much.