We are pleased to announce the winner, shortlisted and commended writers for the fiction category:


Azma Dar for The Secret Arts

Azmar Dar

Azma has a  degree in English and Classics. She began trying to write seriously when she sent in a play for a Royal Court and was invited take part in their Young Writers’ Programme.

In 2003, her first full length play, CHAOS,  was read as part of Kali Theatre’s Shorts Programme, and was then chosen to be developed and performed as a longer piece. CHAOS was produced by Kali in 2005, opening at the Birmingham Rep and touring nationally before opening in London at Southwark Playhouse. PAPER THIN was produced by Kali and Watermans in 2006.

Azma is currently working on a novel, THE SECRET ARTS, and a play based on a true story set in WW2, NOOR, for which she received an Arts Council grant last year. Her latest play, CLOSING TIME, a collaborative piece with Conflict Zone Theatre, will be showing at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2007


Tista Austin for Ashes and Light

Tisa Austin

Tista lives beside a disused railway in Cambridgeshire and writes in between looking after two small children and working as a teacher. Despite being born in the UK, English was her third language and she lived, studied and worked as a bookseller in London for several years before recently completing an MA in post-colonial literature, investigating issues of gender and cultural identity. Tista has researched a book of Indian folk-tales, completed a collection of poems (under consideration for publication) and is writing an extended travel memoir about travels in Russia and Siberia before and after the break-up of the Soviet Union. She’s also working on a connected longer fictional work, a collection of thematically linked narratives, of which Ashes and Light is an abbreviated extract.

Char March for In Memory of Showers

Char March

Char grew up in central Scotland (of Yorkshire parents), and divides her time between the Yorkshire Pennines and the North West Highlands. Her writing credits include:  two collections of poetry (with a third currently being considered by Peterloo Press); five short stage plays;  six BBC Radio 4 plays and poetry and short fiction published widely in literary magazines/ anthologies.

Char is currently working on her first novel, four chapters of which have already been published in journals.  The action takes place in Leeds and Berlin – with Berlin acting as a major character in the novel.  The story deals with many issues including attitudes to death, the lesbian community, Jewishness, Berlin’s struggle  to redefine itself, and the British attitude to the Germans. 

Char uses humour to put across serious issues in a high-quality and engaging way that encourages readers to think for themselves.  Most of her writing tackles social issues (including disability issues since she is disabled) and gives a voice to those outside the mainstream.

Char March is extremely grateful for the Hawthornden Writing Fellowship that enabled her to work on this story, and her novel-in-progress.


Mike Lackersteen for The Talisman

Mary Paulson-Ellis for The Language of Flowers

Guy Saville for All That Happened with Alice

Gerladine Stoneham for Ways and Means

Henry Sutton, Chair of Judges for Fiction, commented:

“We were all particularly struck by the quality of fiction, the poise and playfulness, and the strength of voices coming through. What a future these writers have.” 

The Judges for 2007 Fiction were:

Henry Sutton(Chair)

Henry Sutton

Henry was born in Norfolk in 1963. He's a writer of fiction and is the Books Editor of the Daily Mirror and the Literary Editor of Esquire magazine, he also teaches creative writing at the University of East Anglia. His books include Gorleston (Sceptre, 1995), Bank Holiday Monday (1996), The House Hunter (1998), Flying (2001) and  Kid’s Stuff (Serpent’s Tai). His most recent work is a collection of short stories entitled Thong Nation (Serpent’s Tail, 2005).

Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty

Louise is the author of five novels and five plays for radio. Her most recent novel, Stone Cradle (2006), is based on her own Romany ancestors. She has been the theatre critic for the Mail on Sunday and presenter of BBC Radio 4's books programme, A Good Read. She currently writes a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph's Saturday Arts & Books Section.

Ardashir Vakil

Ardashir Vakil

Ardashir was born in Bombay and now lives and teaches at Goldsmiths in London and at the University of East Anglia. His first novel, Beach Boy (Penguin, 1998), won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Prize. His second novel, One Day (Penguin 2003), was shortlisted for the Encore Award. In 2004 his story Soft Boy was broadcast by Radio 4 and  BBC World.

The submission process was managed by Booktrust on behalf of The New Writing Partnership.