“Be Careful What You Wish For” 2020/21 – some notes from the judges…

Entry is open for our 2020/21 writing competition: Be Careful What You Wish For! We’ve asked our wonderful judges to summarize what they will be looking for in this years entries.

We would like to take this opportunity to formerly welcome to our newest judge, Keren David. Keren began her career in journalism before becoming a writer specializing in young adult fiction. Keren’s books include Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery (2011), Not a Love Story (2015), and The Disconnect (2019).

Keren says:

‘I’m looking for stories and poems which demonstrate a love of writing – from the plot and characters, the language used and the form chosen. I want to feel your excitement bounce off the page when I read your words.’ 

We welcome back two-time judge Adam Baron, who is the author of six critically acclaimed novels that have been widely translated across Europe. Adam is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Kingston University.

Adam’s first novel for children, Boy Underwater (2018), was Waterstones, Sunday Times, and Mail on Sunday Book of the Month, as well as being the first ever Toppsta Book Club choice. His second novel for children You Won’t Believe This was published in June 2019. 

Adam says:

‘I’ll be looking for writing with vitality and energy, in which pupils really push their dreams to the limit. ‘

Last but by no means least, we are very grateful to welcome back Gail Ashton. Gail has been on our judges panel since our first competition in 2017.

Gail Ashton is a poet, writer, editor, and teacher who has lectured at the universities of Manchester and Birmingham. She has published numerous explorations of medieval literature including a recent analysis of Chaucer’s most famous work entitled Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, for Bloomsbury Publishing. Gail’s recent collections of poetry include The Other Side of the Glass (2012), What Rain Taught Us (2017) and Not the Sky, a memoir (2019).

Gail says:

‘I’m looking for entries that are imaginative and bold.  Go on. Take a risk and show me something a bit different. Just so long as it’s inventive and playful with both language and its ideas.’

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