Meet the winners

We’re thrilled to be able to announce our winning and shortlisted authors. Huge thanks goes to our judges, our dedicated panel of expert readers, and of course, everyone who entered.

The winners were announced at a prizegiving reception at the Nightingale Room in Brighton. The judges and many of the shortlisted authors were there to share stories and wisdom over a a glass of champagne. Josie Turner read her winning short story and runner-up Jacqueline Burns represented the flash fiction category.

You’ll be able to read the stories in our 2017 Brighton Prize and Rattle Tales anthology.

Got a winning story in your mind? We’ll open the 2017 prize early next year.

See photos from the night here


The short story prize winners


Winner: Josie Turner, Learning my Lesson

Josie Turner lives in Kent and works in London. She’s had fiction published in Luna Station Quarterly, Words with Jam, The Frogmore Papers and Mslexia. In 2015 she was a joint winner of the Plough short story competition, and in 2016 she received the Emrys Foundation’s Sue Lile Inman award for fiction.



laura-morgan-headshotRunner up: Laura Morgan, On an Earth Uniformly Covered by Sea

Laura Morgan’s stories have been long and short-listed for various competitions including the Moth Short Story Prize, the Colm Tóibín Award, and the Bristol Prize. She is published in Northwords Now, Causeway/Cabhsair, and Words from an Island among other places.


 imag1532Runner up: Astra Bloom, The Vagina and the Gypsy.

Astra had always written in secret until a midsummer moon in 2015 persuaded her to stop being such a coward. She won Bare Fiction poetry 2015, was a notable contender for the Bristol prize, and has a story shortlisted for 2016 Bridport Prize. Astra has worked in cafes, schools, and on fashion shoots; she has messed up, run off to Paris, been penniless and ill. Astra home educated her children until they flew off taking her best wok with them. She’s a Difficult Woman soothed by red velvet and notebooks. She is editing her first novel whilst having a flirtatious relationship with her second.


Brighton PrizeHighly commended: Cressida Evans, The Bed

Cressida Evans is a Welsh writer living in Salvador in the North East of Brazil.  She has travelled throughout her life and is interested in how cultures clash and meld and in how landscape and history affect us.



The Sussex prize winner


bee-lewisBee LewisCity of Angels

Born in Liverpool, Bee Lewis now lives in East Sussex, on the south coast, with her husband and their Irish Setter. She has a number of publishing credits and is currently studying for her Creative Writing MA with Manchester Metropolitan University.



The flash fiction prize winners


Brighton PrizeWinner: D.R.D Bruton, That Song By Van Morrison

D.R.D. Bruton won The Neil Gunn Memorial prize 2015, the William Soutar Prize in 2014 and HISSAC in 2008. He has been published by Aesthetica, Fiction Attic Press, Brittle Star Magazine, The Vestal Review and The Irish Literary Review.



photo-gillian-lakerRunner up: Gillian Laker, Willows

Gillian Laker is a poet and writer of short fiction. She was the 2013 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year and was shortlisted for the International Troubadour prize in 2012. Cinnamon Press will be publishing her illustrated poetry collection, Curious Voices, in 2017.



Jacqui BurnsRunner up: Jacqueline BurnsDark Matter

After twenty years as long-haul cabin crew, Jacqui decided to return to university and study English. She enrolled on Sussex University’s Creative Writing Programme and, after graduating, was shortlisted for the ‘Sussex New Writing’ Award. Currently dividing her time between Sussex and south-west France, (where she and her husband have renovated an old farmhouse) Jacqui is busy setting up a writer’s retreat in an English Shepherd Hut and is working on her first novel.


Shortlisted short stories


tracy_fellsTracy FellsThe Frost Hare

Tracy Fells lives besides the South Downs in West Sussex. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and online. Tracy recently completed a MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University and is seeking representation for a crime mystery novel and her short story collection.

Hannah PersaudHannah PersaudThe Fox

Hannah writes in her spare time. This year she won the Fresher Publishing Short Story prize, and has had stories shortlisted in several prestigious competitions. In 2015 she completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course and she is putting the finishing touches to her first novel “Woven”. She will be seeking representation shortly.


Amanda MasonAmanda MasonSiren

Amanda Mason lives in York. Some of her short stories appear in collections produced by Cracked Eye, Storms, Lies and Wildcards, The Fiction Desk, New Ghost Stories, and New Ghost Stories II, Parthian Books, A Flock of Shadows, Gumbo Press, Eating My Words: 2014National Flash Fiction Day Anthology  and Unthank Books Unthology 8, as well as featuring in The Ghastling Book II  and Holdfast Anthology 2013-2014.  Her first novel was longlisted in the Mslexia Novel Competition in 2013, her second was longlisted for the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award earlier this year.


Jacq MolloyJacq MolloyIn a Heartbeat

Jacq is an award winning short story writer, performed playwright and experienced arts journalist. Recent publications include short stories in the anthologies ‘Memories of Clothes’ and ‘TheNeedlewriters’. She is a creative writing tutor with a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Sussex University and is a Certified Writing Coach.


Giovanna IozziGiovanna IozziLittle Snoopy Pull Along

Giovanna, a published short fiction writer, is currently working on a novella during a Creative Writing PhD at Goldsmiths where she also teaches a course on the short story. In June, she was shortlisted for Good Housekeeping Magazine’s annual novel competition 2016. This is her first foray into the short, short story.


Amelia RobertsAmelia RobertsSynaesthesia

Amelia is currently a creative and critical writing PhD student at the University of Sussex, researching interpretations and reinterpretations of male intimacy in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. She has worked as a literacy teacher and an editor of academic papers, and writes, collaboratively with friends and alone, in every spare moment she has.

Shortlisted flash fiction


Marie GethinsMarie GethinsThe Art of Breaking a Heart

Marie Geth­ins won/placed in The Short Story, Tethered by Letters, Flash500, Drom­i­neer, The New Writer, Prick of the Spindle and Other pieces listed in Boulevard, Bath, Bristol, Brighton, Fish Short Story/Flash/Memoir, James Plunkett, and RTE/Penguin com­pe­ti­tions. Marie is a Pushcart, Best of the Short Fictions, British Screenwriters Award Nominee and a recipient of the 2016 Frank O’Connor Bursary mentorship under Zsuzsi Gartner.


Nick SweeneyNick SweeneyPost-it Mortem

Nick Sweeney’s novel Laikonik Express was published by Unthank Books in 2011. He is a freelance writer and editor, and guitarist with Balkan troubadours the Trans-Siberian March Band. His story Traffic was second-placed in the 2015 V S Pritchett Memorial Prize for Best Short Story.



Stephanie HuttonStephanie HuttonDiscordant

Stephanie Hutton is a clinical psychologist and writer in Staffordshire, UK. She believes in the therapeutic value of short fiction. She has published flash fiction, short stories and poetry online and in print since 2015.



Emma PurshouseEmma PurshouseStella Star Swallower

Emma Purshouse is a freelance writer and performance poet from the Black Country.  She performs regularly at spoken word nights and literature festivals across the country.  Emma has dabbled in stand-up comedy, and recently her children’s poetry collection ‘I Once Knew a Poem Who Wore a Hat’ (Fair Acre Press) won the Rubery Book Award Poetry Prize.  Emma is also an experienced workshop facilitator.


william-davidsonWilliam DavidsonListing Marriage

William Davidson’s stories have been published online with Synaesthesia Magazine and Cheap Pop, and in the anthology Solstice Shorts (Arachne Press). ‘Lyme Regis’ was published in Rattle Tales 4. ‘Radio Alarm’ won the inaugural Bath Flash Fiction Award. William is studying on the Creative Writing MA at York St John University.


Hannah PersaudHannah PersaudThe Freedom of the Sea

Hannah writes in her spare time. This year she won the Fresher Publishing Short Story prize, and has had stories shortlisted in several prestigious competitions. In 2015 she completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course and she is putting the finishing touches to her first novel “Woven”. She will be seeking representation shortly.


Abi AndersenAbi  Siri AndersenSpring

Abi Siri Andersen is a secondary school English teacher and former pop-up restaurateur. She lives in Somerset and is currently writing a murder mystery novel set in the nineteenth century gin factories of Camden Town, London.



Pippa LewisPippa Lewis, The Dog

Pippa lives in Brighton, and is an environmental project manager on large construction projects. She is currently working on a fantasy YA novel, as well as a collection of short stories. Her writing is often influenced by our relationships with the environment, nature and animals.