The Yeovil Literary Prize

2024 YCAA Book Group

The YCAA book group meets in Yeovil in the Westlands Entertainment Venue's Lounge every second Tuesday of the month from 12 noon until 2pm. We read a wide selection of books as suggested by people who come along. You would be welcome! Details can be found on

YCAA Website


Recent Successes

Read about our most recent successes.

2023 Results

Novel Category :
FIRST PRIZE - Emma Lee-Potter
SECOND PRIZE - Jane Bitomsky
THIRD PRIZE - Jason Mann

Short Story Category :
SECOND PRIZE - Rosemary Stride
THIRD PRIZE - Dr Dianne Bown-Wilson

Poetry Category :
FIRST PRIZE - Jane Thorp
THIRD PRIZE - Richard Pierce

Children’s and Young Adult Novel :
FIRST PRIZE - Stephanie Ward
SECOND PRIZE - Jean McIntosh
THIRD PRIZE - Denarii Peters

Writing Without Restrictions :
FIRST PRIZE - Hamid Harasani
SECOND PRIZE - Stephen Morrison-Burke
THIRD PRIZE - Frances Thimann

welcome to the

Yeovil Literary Prize Judges 2024

Our 2024 Yeovil Literary Prize Judges are…

Our judge for the Novel category is A.J. West

A.J. WestA.J. West is author of The Betrayal of Thomas True (published June 2024). He was also awarded The Sunday Times bestselling debut novel for The Spirit Engineer which also won the Historical Writers' Association Debut Crown Award in 2022. His work is gaining international recognition for its originality, telling long-forgotten tales with impeccable research and deft storytelling.

He is an award-winning BBC newsreader and reporter, who has written for national newspa-pers and appears regularly on network television discussing his writing and the historical context of contemporary events.

A passionate historical researcher, he writes at The London Library and can often be found exploring a host of international archives and literary locations.

To connect with AJ and discover more about his research, visit:

Our Judge for the Short Stories is Julie Goodall

Julie GoodallI have had short stories and serials published in UK woman’s magazines since 1994. I have also had a 50,000-word pocket novel published with My Weekly, which was then bought by large print company Ulverscroft. This is now found in libraries.

I have also been fortunate enough to be placed in many writing competitions, including Writing Magazine, The Association of Christian Writers, Woman’s Weekly and The Yeovil Prize.

I have three children, two grandchildren a husband and a dog. I love football, tennis, reading, movies and TV drama series.

Our Poetry Judge is Michael Glover

Michael GloverMichael Glover is the Poetry Editor of The Tablet and a senior art critic and feature writer for The Independent. He has been a regular reviewer and commentator upon the world of poetry for The Times, the New Statesman and The Economist.[2] He has written about poetry in performance for the Financial Times. He is also a London correspondent for ArtNews, New York City. In 2009 he established The Bow-Wow Shop, a free-to-access, online poetry magazine which has been archived by the British Library.

He wrote the Headlong Into Pennilessness memoir about growing up in a working-class suburb of Sheffield in the 1950s. Sebastian Barker, former chairman of the Poetry Society and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, called it "charming and fascinating".[3] Bill Hamilton, literary agent of author Hilary Mantel, describes it as a "vivid and true" picture of the kinds of life endured by tens of thousands of working-class families struggling to make ends meet in Northern Britain in the post-war austerity years.

His collections of poetry include Impossible Horizons (1995), For the Sheer Hell of Living (2008), Only So Much (2011), Hypothetical May Morning (2018) and The Timely Lift-Off of the Famous Harlequin-Fish.

The Children’s and YA Novel judge is Kiran Millward Hargrave

Kiran Millward HargraveThe first prize Kiran ever won was the Yeovil Poetry Prize in 2012, and it greatly encouraged her to keep writing.

Kiran’s books include The Girl of Ink & Stars, which was the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017; The Island at the End of Everything, which was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award 2017; and The Way Past Winter, which won the Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Year Award 2018.

Our judge for the Writing Without Restrictions category is Jennie Godfrey

Jennie GodfreyJennie drew heavily on her own experiences growing up in the West Yorkshire town of Dewsbury, where the ‘Ripper Squad’ – the team investigating the spate of murders – was based.

Peter Sutcliffe’s presence dominated Jennie’s early life, but it was only upon his arrest that she realised how closely their lives had touched. Her mechanic father worked with Sutcliffe, frequently servicing the lorries he drove.

Jennie said: “I remember my dad staring open mouthed at the television and saying ‘but I know him, I know him’.”

If Sutcliffe played an outsized role in Jennie’s life, so did books. She was once dragged to the doctors by a mother worried she wasn’t sleeping because she spent so much time reading under the covers.

“I was obsessed,” Jennie remembers. “It was my way of escaping.”

A passion for books led her to a degree in English and Politics at De Montford University in Leicester. Three decades on, she is a student again, this time studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol.