Wayne Holloway-Smith

Wayne Holloway-Smith has published two collections, Alarum (Bloodaxe 2017), and Love Minus Love (Bloodaxe 2020), which was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. He is the winner of the National Poetry Competition (2018) and Geoffrey Dearmer Prize (2016). He edits The Poetry Review.

Nina Mingya Powles

Nina Mingya Powles is a writer, editor and publisher from Aotearoa New Zealand. She is the author of three poetry collections, including Magnolia, which was shortlisted for both the Ondaatje Prize and the Forward Prize; and Tiny Moons: A Year of Eating in Shanghai. In 2019 she won the Nan Shepherd Prize for Small Bodies of Water, and in 2018 she won the Women Poets’ Prize. She is the founding editor of Bitter Melon. Nina was born in Aotearoa, partly grew up in China, and now lives in London. Nina has made numerous small poetry zines and teaches zinemaking and poetry workshops. She writes an occasional e-newsletter called Comfort Food.

Prize Partner Judges

Joey Connolly grew up in Sheffield and now works in London as Director of Faber Academy. As a poet, he received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2012. His first collection, Long Pass, was published by Carcanet in 2017 and was one of The Poetry School's Books of the Year. His second collection, The Recycling, is forthcoming from the same publisher in May 2023.

Tessa Foley is the MA in Writing Poetry Manager at Poetry School. She has published two poetry collections, Chalet Between Thick Ears and What Sort of Bird are You? with Live Canon. She has also been published in several poetry magazines and prize anthologies.

Jennifer Kerslake is Head of Courses at Curtis Brown Creative, the only writing school to be owned and run by a major literary and talent agency. She was previously an editor of fiction and non-fiction at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, the literary imprint of the Orion Publishing Group. She is passionate about nurturing new voices and enjoys working closely with writers to help them shape their stories.

Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-running editorial consultancy. She is a Trustee of Poetry London, and sits on the advisory board of Penned in the Margins. Aki is a judge for the Bridport First Novel Award and sits on its steering committee. She is also a prize-winning writer of poetry and fiction, and co-founder of the Saboteur Award-shortlisted #LossLit digital literature project. In 2018 Aki was named as one of the FutureBook 40 (a list of the top 40 innovators in UK publishing), and nominated for an h100 Award for her #BookJobTransparency campaign and her work to improve representation and accessibility in the literature sector. She is also the founder of the Rebecca Swift Foundation, in memory of TLC’s founder and her boss and mentor. In 2019 Aki was shortlisted for the Kim Scott-Walwyn Prize.

Shortlist Judges

Fiction: Tom Newlands is a multiply neurodivergent Scottish writer. He is a recipient of the London Writer’s Award for Literary Fiction, a Creative Future Writer’s Award and a Creative Future/TLC Next Up Award. He was one of eleven writers selected for New Writing North’s inaugural ‘A Writing Chance,’ and in 2022 was a featured writer at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. His debut novel Only Here, Only Now is forthcoming in June 2024 from Phoenix Books.

Poetry: Sallyanne Rock is a queer, neurodivergent poet and freelance writer from the Black Country. Her poetry has been published widely in various journals and anthologies, and she has appeared at spoken word events across the West Midlands. She is a workshop facilitator, creative support worker and poet for hire, working alongside organisations such as Writing West Midlands, Verve Poetry Festival and Creative Future. In 2019 she was awarded the gold prize for poetry in the Creative Future Writers’ Awards. Sallyanne’s debut pamphlet, Salt & Metal, is published with Fawn Press.

Creative Non-Fiction: Yvonne Reddick’s poetry collection Burning Season (Bloodaxe, 2023) won the Laurel Prize for Best First UK Collection of Ecopoetry and was shortlisted for the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year award. It was written with the help of a Creative Future award for poetry. Her other books include Anthropocene Poetry and Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet (both from Palgrave Macmillan). Her essay collection Hope Brink, on women in the outdoors and mental health, will be published by Broken Sleep Books in 2025. She worked with the filmmaker Aleks Domanski to make the film Searching for Snow Hares (2023).

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