Aurora Prize for Writing 2019

The Aurora Writing Prize is an international competition run by Writing East Midlands. The prize was first awarded in 2016, and this year we worked in partnership with The Society of Authors and Lincoln Book Festival.

In 2019, the prize was awarded to outstanding new writing in two categories, short fiction (of up to 2,000 words) and poetry (of up to 60 lines), with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in both categories.


We are delighted to announce the winners of the Aurora Prize for Writing 2019


For Short Fiction

1st Place – Alice Haworth-Booth, Ears Now

2nd Place – Christina Eagles, Coping Stones

3rd Place – The Traps, Ella King

Regional Prize – Christina Eagles, Coping Stones


For Poetry

1st Place – Toby Campion, Oyster

2nd Place – Bernard Pearson, Manor Farm

3rd Place – Joshua Judson, Lock

Regional Prize – Joshua Judson, Lock


Huge congratulations to the shortlisted writers, who for 2019 are:

For Short Fiction

Ears Now – Alice Haworth-Booth

Holy Land – Cecil Fenn

Coping Stones – Christina Eagles

The Father, The Son – Elizabeth J. Woods

The Traps – Ella King

Small Things – Fraer Stevenson

Milk – Katherine Shingler

Roasting Feathers – Mo Ryan

Blue in the Condition of Blue – Ric Carter

The Haircut – Wendy Davey


For Poetry

Manor Farm – Bernard Pearson

Emily’s Ghost – Eleanor Punter

Slaughter of the Striped – Eveline Pye

Xenos – Gemma Bull

Lock  – Joshua Judson

Preservation – Jan Norton

Let’s Call it a Fruit – Maz Hedgehog

How to Keep Chaos at Bay – Pamela Butler

Salvage – Sharon Black

Oyster – Toby Campion


The Judges

The prize has been judged for fiction by

Booker Prize Nominee, Alison Moore.

And for poetry by

Seamus Heaney Centre Prize Nominee, Malika Booker.


The Prizes

The winners, in each category, will receive a cash prize of £500, feedback on a piece of work of their choice from a leading literary agent (or Editor as appropriate) and a year’s free membership to the Society of Authors, which includes access to advice and resources on all aspects of the business of writing. Winners will also be offered a session with Society of Authors staff including an introduction to how the Society can support them in their careers as professional authors and covering essential advice on copyright, payment terms and contracts.

Second Prize winners in both categories will receive £150.

Third Prize winners in both categories will receive a one-day course of their choice from Writing School East Midlands.

As a champion of writers from the East Midlands, we will also be offering a regional prize of £100 to the best work in each category from the region. The regional winners will also be offered a year of free membership to The Society of Authors, along with a career development session.


The Society of Authors is the UK trade union for more than 10,500 writers, scriptwriters, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. We’ve been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession since 1884. For more information and to sign up, visit




Lincoln Book Festival runs from the 23rd to the 28th of September and is devoted to great history writing and historical fiction. For more information, visit