We are pleased to announce the Non -Fiction winner, shortlist and commended writers:


Suzanne Joinson for Laila Ahmed

Suzanne Joinson

Suzanne was born in Crewe, Cheshire in 1974. She now lives in London and works in the literature department of the British Council. She spends much of her time in North Africa and the Middle East and her writing has been inspired by these travels and the friendships she has made. Syria, Yemen and Egypt have all become her alternative spiritual home. Recently her reviews of Palestinian literature have featured in Al-Ahram weekly (Egypt's largest newspaper), and she is editing a collection of short stories by Syrian women for Saqi Books. Having just completed an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University, Suzanne is now working on a novel.


Carmen Bugan for Burying the Typewriter

Carmen Bugan

Carmen Bugan was born in 1970 and emigrated with her family to the US as political refugees at the end of 1989 after her father was freed from prison for protesting against the Ceausescu regime. Her childhood memoir, Burying the Typewriter, an excerpt of which was shortlisted for the New Ventures Writing Award, is the story of her parents' anticommunist work and the family's expulsion, under death threats, from Romania just weeks before the Revolution. Carmen has lived in the United States, Ireland and, more recently, in England where she is a Creative Arts Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford. Here she runs a series of public lectures on poets as translators, has written her second collection of poems, The House of Straw, and her memoir, Burying the Typewriter.  Her publications include a collection of poems entitled Crossing the Carpathians (Oxford Poets/ Carcanet: 2004) and poetry and prose in Harvard Review, PN Review, the Tabla Book of New Verse, the Forward Book of Poetry, Magma Poetry, the TLS, and Modern Poetry in Translation. She was educated at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Balliol College, Oxford, where she researched a doctorate in Irish poetry.  She lives in Oxford with her husband, Alessandro, and their son Stefano.

Jane Shepherd for Candy Cake

Jane Shephard

Jane Shepherd was born in Portsmouth in 1959. In the late 1980s she travelled to Zimbabwe and decided to stay on to work as an illustrator for the country’s first Aids awareness campaign.She worked for ten years as a graphic design lecturer at Harare Polytechnic, co-founded the Graphics Association of Zimbabwe (GRAZI) and helped set up the Zimbabwean Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) – a college dedicated to an afro-centric approach to design education. She returned to the UK in 2002 to study for an MA in Design Leadership at Middlesex University. Jane has always written, from articles on design education to a ten-year correspondence with friends in the UK. Her experience of moving from one culture to another led to an interest in autobiographical writing and she recently completed a certificate in Life History Work at the University of Sussex. She has been developing a memoir based on her life in Zimbabwe.This extract is set in Harare in 1997. She currently works as a freelance graphic designer in the development field and is a trustee for the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS (ICW).


Bethan Bithell for Sunshine and Shadows.
Jacqueline Crooks for Swinging Low
Amanda Groom for Sand Blasting: Tanezrouft
Martin Housden for An Englishman in Romania
George Ttoouli for Conscript

Mark Cocker, Chair of Judges for Creative Non-Fiction, commented: “It was very satisfying for the judges to feel that our selected authors had hugely promising careers as writers.”

Judges for 2007 competition were:

Mark Cocker (Chair) 

Mark Cocker

Mark Cocker is an author, journalist and naturalist who contributes regularly to the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, and BBC Radio Four. His eight books include the universally acclaimed Birds Britannica (Chatto 2005) and Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold: Europe's Conflict with Tribal Peoples (Cape '98) His most recent work, published this year, is Crow Country (Cape) a meditation on birds and landscape.

Giles Foden

Giles Foden

Giles was born in Warwickshire in 1967 but grew up mostly in Africa. He was an Assistant Editor of the Times Literary Supplement for three years, and worked on the books pages of The Guardian between 1996 and 2006. His novel The Last King of Scotland (1998) won a Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. It has recently been made into a feature film. Giles has published two other novels, Ladysmith and Zanzibar, and a work of narrative non-fiction called Mimi and Toutou Go Forth.

Vesna Goldsworthy

Vesna Goldsworthy

Vesna was born in Belgrade in 1961. She currently teaches English at Kingston University and is Director of Kingston’s Centre for Suburban Studies and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL. Her first book, Inventing Ruritania, a study of the ‘Wild East’ of Europe in literature and film has been translated into Bulgarian, Greek, Romanian and Serbian. Her acclaimed memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries, (Atlantic 2005) was serialised in The Times and read by Vesna herself as Book of the Week on BBC Radio Four.

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