The international writing competition announces the 2011 winners judged by  CAROL ANN DUFFY  and  AL KENNEDY

"Mention the Bridport Prize and the eyes of writers everywhere light up. It's not just the money - though that's not to be sneezed at - it’s a prize really worth fighting for in terms of prestige and genuine literary accomplishment.'”  Fay Weldon, patron

  • Terry Jones wins the £5,000 first prize for poetry
  • Kitty Aldridge wins the £5,000 first prize for short story
  • Becky Tipper wins the £1,000 first prize for flash fiction

Judging the poetry entries, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy said: “I hugely enjoyed reading the longlist of poems for the Bridport Poetry Prize 2011 and was seriously impressed by the range and vitality of the poems, which I hope is reflected in my selection of 14 terrific poems. All three winning poems display risk, originality and the sense that they were necessary to write and I warmly congratulate their authors and also the other highly commended poets represented.” Carol Ann Duffy awarded Terry Jones from Carlisle the first prize of £5,000 for his poem ‘Endowments’.

Second prize of £1,000 was awarded to Andrew Slattery from New South Wales, Australia, and the third prize of £500 went to Sean Borodale of Oakhill, Somerset.

Highly Commended prizes for poetry were won by Lindy Barbour, Liz Bassett, Ron Carey, Julia Deakin, Birgit Elston, Rebecca Perry, Lesley Saunders, Paul Stephenson, Christian Ward and Anna Woodford.

Author AL Kennedy judging the short story category said, I would like to thank all those who entered the competition for this year’s Bridport Prize. This involved writers in making a commitment to a form, which is remarkably demanding – short fiction. An effective short story, or piece of flash fiction, delivers the impact of a novel in only a few thousand words, or only a few hundred. It is a singularity, a moment of remarkable meeting between reader and writer.” AL Kennedy chose ‘Arrivederci Les’ by Kitty Aldridge from London, for the first prize, winning the writer  £5,000.

Kevin Parry from Seaford, East Sussex, won the second prize of £1,000 and the third prize of £500 was awarded to Barrie de Lara of Norwich.

Highly Commended prizes for short story were won by Sheila Barrett, Tray Butler, Rachel Cantor, James Kinase, Justine Mann, Dave Pescod, Peggy Riley, Martha Schulman, Bernadette Smyth and Pat Winslow.

Also judging the new flash fiction category, AL Kennedy, awarded first prize of £1,000 to Becky Tipper of Fredericksburg, USA. AL Kennedy said, The flash fiction pieces were extremely penetrating and confident. Becky Tipper’s ‘Meeting the Lobster’ genuinely takes the reader through a journey of increasing emotional identification and the title works well.

Robert Maslen from Bradford, won the second prize of £500 and the third prize of £250 was awarded to Samuel Wright of London.

Highly Commended prizes for flash fiction were won by Stace Budzko, John Glenday and John-Paris Kent.

Judging the Bridport Prize 2012 competition is Gwyneth Lewis for poetry and Patrick Gale for short stories.

Entry forms for The Bridport Prize 2012 are available in January from The Bridport Prize, PO Box 6910, Bridport DT6 9BQ, UK (send an SASE).  Alternatively, you can enter online at


Poetry winners


Terry Jones, originally from Bradford, now lives and works in Carlisle. A keen fell walker, he appreciates the proximity of the Lake District. Married with three grown-up children, he has recently left a career as lecturer in English Literature for independent work as a private tutor and freelance writer.  Terry won first prize in the 2001 Ottakars/Observer national poetry competition and has twice been highly commended in the Mirehouse competition.  His poems have been published in Poetry

Review, Agenda, The Rialto, The London Magazine, Magma, Iota, Envoi and others. His first short collection, Furious Resonance, was published in 2011.


Andrew Slattery’s chapbook Canyon was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in 2008 and launched that year at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.  His first full collection will be published in 2012.


Sean Borodale has been Northern Arts Fellow at the Wordsworth Trust, Guest Artist at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and teaching fellow at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.  His first book, Notes for an Atlas, a long topographical poem written while walking around London, was recommended in the Guardian Summer Books 2005 and performed in 2007 at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, directed by Mark Rylance as part of the first London Festival of Literature.  Recent projects include a residency at the Miro Foundation, Mallorca and a documentary poem about livestock markets, extracts of which were performed at Bristol Old Vic in 2010.  He lives in the West Country with his wife and two sons.

Short story winners


Kitty Aldridge was born in the Middle East but grew up in England.  A graduate of the Drama Centre, London, she has since worked in theatre, film and television as an actress and writer.  Her first novel,  Pop (Cape, 2001), was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002 and shortlisted for the Pendleton May First Novel Award 2002.  Her second novel, Cryers Hill (Cape) was published in 2007.  Her third, A Trick I Learned from Dead Men, will be published in summer 2012.  She has two children and lives in London.


Kevin Parry was born in Umtata (now Mthatha), South Africa, but has lived in England since 1979.  He holds a BA in History and History of Art from the University of South Africa and an MA in Education (Language, the Arts and Education) from the University of Sussex.   He has two completed collections of short stories.  He has also written a novella, radio plays and prose poems.  He is currently working on a novel set in his native South Africa.  He has won prizes/publication in Stand, twice in Ireland’s Fish short story competitions and this year’s is his third win in the Bridport Prize.  His Bridport story ‘Trying to think in the Bantustan’ comes from his currently unpublished collection When it Was Raining. The collection spans the Verwoertian Apartheid of the 1950s to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of 1995.


Barrie de Lara grew up in rural Essex, and attended Westcliff High School in Leigh-on-Sea, and Pembroke College, Oxford where he read Oriental Studies. He studied Classical Chinese with Raymond Dawson, and Tibetan under Trungpa Tulku. For many years he has worked as a teacher of various things – singing, cookery, Latin – but mostly of English as a foreign language, and as an examiner for Trinity College, London. He has also had a variety of temporary occupations.  He is married, has four children and two grandchildren, and lives in Norwich. He loves old churches and sailing vessels and has sung in choirs for more than fifty years.

Flash Fiction winner


Becky Tipper is originally from the UK, but now lives in Fredericksburg, Texas with her partner and young son.  She is currently completing a PhD in sociology (based at the University of Manchester) and has published several academic papers.  Earlier this year her first creative non-fiction essay appeared in the journal Literary Mama.

The Judges

Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow.  She grew up in Stafford and then attended the University of Liverpool where she studied Philosophy.  She has written for children and adults, and her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread and Forward Prizes, as well as the Lannan Award and the E M Forster Prize in America.  In 2009 Carol Ann Duffy became Poet Laureate.

AL Kennedy is one of the most distinguished and acclaimed writers of her generation. She is the author of five collections of stories, most recently What Becomes, and four novels, including Paradise and Day, winner of the 2008 Costa Book Prize.   She is the winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Lannan Award and was chosen as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993 and again in 2003.  Her work of non-fiction, On Bullfighting, is already regarded as a modern classic.  She has also embarked on a successful career in stand-up comedy.

History of The Bridport Prize

The Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition was founded by Bridport Arts Centre in 1973 and has steadily grown in stature and prestige. Right from the start the competition attracted entries from all parts of the UK and from overseas. Today, entries number many thousands and are received from over 80 countries worldwide.

The prize money and entry fees have risen over the years as well and now the first prize in each category is £5,000, second prize £1,000 and third prize £500. An additional 10 supplementary prizes (for each category) of £50 each are awarded. The top four poems are entered for the Forward Prize for Poetry (Best Single Poem), an award not open to the general public. The top 13 stories (British citizens only) are submitted to the National Short Story Prize.  2010 saw the launch of the new category of Flash Fiction with a first prize of £1,000.

In 2001 the Bridport Prize became the first competition to offer writers the opportunity to submit their entry online, receiving 865 entries that year.  2011 saw over 11,400 entries downloaded from its website - 30% of which were from overseas.

In 2006 Fay Weldon agreed to become Patron of the Bridport and notable previous judges include Margaret Drabble, Jo Shapcott, Rose Tremain, U A Fanthorpe, Andrew Motion, Lavinia GreenlawJane Gardam, Tracy ChevalierDon Paterson, Ali Smith and Jackie Kay.

In many cases a win in the Bridport Prize has led to further successes and helped to launch new writers.  Kate Atkinson (a short story winner in 1990) said that it was very important, confirming that she had found her "voice". Her short story went on to become the first chapter of her novel, “Behind the Scenes at the Museum”, winner of the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year. She returned to judge the Short Story section in 2001.

Other noteworthy names include Helen Dunmore (also a 1990 winner) whose “Spell of Winter” won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996; Tobias Hill, a winner in both categories (poetry 1994, short story 1996) and Kathryn Simmonds, a winner in 2005, who won the 2008 Forward Prize for Best First Collection

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