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


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 Prize Successes

Dianne Bown-Wilson

I thought you might like to know that my short story, The Seesaw of Isolation, which came 3rd equal in your 2020 competition has now been recorded by Tempest productions. You can listen to it here:

Emily Midorikawa


I won third prize in the 2013 competition and am the author of A Secret Sisterhood: The Hidden Friendships of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf (co-written with Emma Claire Sweeney, and published in 2017).

I'm writing to let you know that my new book, another group biography, was published in the USA and Canada yesterday, and will be released in the UK too next week.

Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice draws on diaries, letters, rarely seen memoirs and texts to tell the stories of Kate, Leah and Maggie Fox, Emma Hardinge Britten, Victoria Woodhull and Georgina Weldon: six enterprising women of the nineteenth century, whose apparent ability to contact the dead brought them fame, fortune and astonishing levels of social and political influence.

Author Julie Myerson has described it as 'Astonishing, gripping, and almost eerily timely', and it has been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and others.

I'll always be grateful for the much-needed confidence boost that being placed in the 2013 competition gave me, which is why I wanted to let you know about my most recent publication. I hope it's of interest to you.

Best wishes,


Siôn Scott-Wilson

Hello, this is just to let you know that my press, Deixis Press, will be publishing Siôn Scott-Wilson's book, which won your prize in the novel category in 2013. At the time it was called Resurrecting Bobby; it has been retitled to Some Rise By Sin. Current release date (subject to change) is 15 Sept 2021.
Angel Belsey

Christine Whittemore

My poem "Pollen" was Highly Commended in 2014. Because of this important encouragement (and other awards and publications throughout the years), I gathered my poems into a collection, Sudden Arabesque, and it was published by Oversteps Books in 2017.
I have also published a novel, Inscription, which won the Eludia Award and was published by Sowilo Press in 2015.
Information about my work is on my website,
Thanks for giving emerging writers opportunities and encouragement!

Laurence O'Dwyer

A quick note on the fate of 'The Old Light' which won the Yeovil Prize a while back. It's now in a new collection called, 'The Lighthouse Journal' which is out now. The Yeovil Prize is acknowledged in the book. It will also come out as an 'interactive book' - available for download on Apple and Google Play on Culture Night Ireland - September 18 - with narration by Donal Gallagher (Asylum Productions), plus maps, photos, video footage and other bells and whistles, designed and created by Malte Olsson (Macalaus Studios). More on that work here. Thank you for the support of the work - I hope Yeovil is going strong.

Sandra Galton

Hello - you may remember that my poem 'With Hindsight' was awarded 3rd prize by Neil Astley in 2013. Since then I have had a number of successes & graduated with an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University/Poetry School, London. My first pamphlet 'Shadow Selves' was published by Green Bottle Press in March this year, just before lockdown!

Peter Burgham

The encouragement I’ve had from Yeovil over these last few years has been instrumental in leading me to have the confidence to self-publish, so thank you to all concerned. I now have 3 books completed. You can find out more via my website:

I’ve had an amazing run in the Yeovil Competitions since my first attempt in 2015, notably being awarded 3rd prize in Writing Without Restrictions 2017 for ‘Tribute Night at the Social’. I’m delighted to say this is now available as a published work, from March 2020.

Two of my other entries to Writing Without Restrictions were also commended : ‘Soundbite City News’ in 2016 and ‘Blackpoolium’ in 2018. These are now incorporated into my debut full collection ‘Burg’s Eye View’, which also contains 2 further poems commended at Yeovil, plus successes from other competitions.

Once again thank you to everyone at Yeovil for your inspiration, particularly with the Writing Without Restrictions category.

Sylvia Petter

I'm thrilled to share with you that my novel, All the Beautiful Liars, which placed third in the 2016 Yeovil Novel Prize is forthcoming from Lightning Books, UK, and will be released as an ebook on 16 March 2020. Judge Jason Goodwin is quoted with the words: 'Explores truth and memory with a compelling subtlety'.

Thank you for your support and good words.

Sylvia added that her book is now available as an ebook for pre-order at Amazon, but also at Booktopia in Australia, and possibly Kobo.

Jane Wade Scarlet

Since reaching the long list of the 2015 Yeovil Prize competition, and its subsequent publication in 2017, my novel Wolf Wind was also longlisted for the 2018 Dorchester Literary Festival Writing Prize. I am delighted to add that the sequel, Wolf Shadow, was published in September 2019.

Ten years on from the original story, the boy called Cub is now a man with a new name, a young family and responsibilities that may prove too heavy for him to bear, leading to dangerous consequences.

More than just Westerns, Wolf Wind and Wolf Shadow provide an escape into the wild, filled with action and adventure, and enriched by otherworldliness.

Paperback and Kindle versions of both books are available from Amazon.

Susan Gee

I just thought I'd let you know that winning the Yeovil novel prize in 2012 was a real boost to my confidence and the lovely feedback from judge Sophie Hannah meant a lot to me. I am pleased to tell you that my novel Kiss Her Goodbye by Susan Gee was published by Aria Fiction in 2018. Thank you for all your encouragement.

Many thanks again,

Janet Hancock

In 2014, my novel-in-progress was shortlisted for the Yeovil Prize, a tremendous encouragement. There was still work to do but a further draft of the book, a couple of title changes, and a few gaps for the rest of life, and 'Beyond the Samovar', set in Russia and England 1919-20, is to be published on 1st March 2019 by The Conrad Press. Thank you again to you and all at the Yeovil Prize for your encouragement of my writing.

All good wishes

Janet Hancock

Naomi Kruger

Hi - my debut novel, May, was highly commended in the Yeovil Prize 2014 and I just wanted to let you know that it has just been published (Spring 2018) by Seren. Being Highly Commended was a real boost after a round of rejections. It was great to be able to mention this in query letters and submissions and gave me the confidence to keep editing the novel and sending it out.

Sheila Aldous

You may remember me from the 2016 Poetry Literary Prize - Poetry section.

I have been busy studying during 2017 for my MA and pleased to say I achieved a merit in my pass and am due to graduate soon..

I also have several poems due to be published in 2018 in the small presses: Acumen, Orbis and Obsessed with Pipework. As well as looking forward to these I have been published in Pzazz and The Broadsheet 2016/2017.

Also this year my first collection is due to be published by Indigo Dreams.

Jane Wade Scarlet

My novel, 'Wolf Wind', reached the long list in the 2015 Yeovil Prize competition, and I thought you would like to know that it has now been published.

Born in Essex and now living in Dorset, author Jane Wade has written since she was a child, blessed with a vivid imagination. Her first novel began life in the back of a school exercise book, and was published nine years later. Since then she has progressed via longhand and typewriter to computer to write a further seven novels. She writes every day - sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. Her short stories have achieved success in competitions and anthologies. She is lifted by otherworldliness, and absorbs it in her writing.

Covering the genres of Action and Adventure, Jane's new book, 'Wolf Wind', is a western, a love story and a mystery, rolled into one and bound together with a touch of the ethereal.

Phylis Rudin

I entered the Yeovil novel competition back in 2010 and my book, the CEO of Oz, came in second place. It was a huge thrill for me at the beginning of my novel-writing career. I never did manage to get that book published, but I did succeed with the next one, and I'm writing to let you know that my second novel is coming out. It's called My True and Complete Adventures as a Wannabe Voyageur, published by NeWest Press. In a nutshell, it's the story of a young Montrealer who thinks he's been born into the wrong century. Instead of living in present-day Montreal, he's convinced he was meant to have been born in the 18th century as a French Canadian voyageur. The book details the lengths he's willing to go to so he can flip that illusion into reality.

So I just wanted to let you know that the Yeovil competition gave me a great boost in confidence

Libby Carpenter

After being longlisted in novel category of Yeovil's Literary Prize in 2016 (under Libby Carpenter for Remember Me), I went on to get a two-book deal with Avon/HarperCollins for this book. It was published 24th August 2017 under the name 99 Red Balloons.

Anjana Chowdhury

I wanted to tell you that after my novel Under the Pipal Tree was shortlisted in the Yeovil Competition 2014, it was chosen as Cinnamon Press's Debut Novel of the Year 2015 and has now been published. It is available on Amazon as Kindle and paperback and also on the Cinnamon Press website. Set against a colourful backdrop of India, it is a tale of secrets and prejudices where three women learn to redefine their relationships with each other and the world.

Being shortlisted on Yeovil [Literary Prize] was the validation I needed to seek publication.

Thank you,

Sara Green

Sara came second in 2016 with her novel A Life In Boxes. She told us…
"I thought you might like to know that I have just signed a contract with The Blair Partnership agency as a direct result of coming second in the Yeovil Prize.
I am absolutely thrilled and wanted to thank you for this huge boost to my writing career.

I was contacted by both TBP and the Annette Green Agency following the announcement of the results and both offered me representation.

I hope to be able to add a publishing deal to it in the near future! I’ve decided to go by Cate Green for the book as no-one pronounces Sara properly."

David Young

After David Young's novel Stasi Child won third prize in the 2014 novel award at Yeovil, he signed a three-book deal for a series of crime thrillers with Twenty7 Books, a new imprint of Bonnier Publishing Fiction for debut authors. Stasi Child is the first in the series (Oct 2015 e-book, Feb 2016 paperback). It features a female People's Police detective, Karin Müller, searching for the truth in the dystopian world of 1970s East Germany, under the ever-watchful eyes of the feared Stasi secret service. The novel also won the 2014 City University/PFD Crime Fiction Prize. French rights, television rights and audio book rights have already been sold.

Jackie McLean

Success has come to Jackie since her novel Toxic was Shortlisted in the 2011 Yeovil Literary Prize. These are the details of publication of her book.
Title: Toxic
Author: Jackie McLean
ISBN: 978-0-9575689-8-3 (Kindle). ISBN: 978-0-9575689-9-0 (Paperback)
Publication: November 2014
Price (Kindle): £4.99 / $6.99. Price (Paperback): £9.99 / $15.99
Genre: Crime Fiction

Jackie McLean, a former government economist and political lobbyist from Arbroath, has more recently run her own business in Glasgow.
Not only was Toxic short listed for the Yeovil Literary Prize in 2011, but also Jackie has been long listed for the Dundee International Book Prize.
She is now working on a PhD, at Strathclyde University, in fisheries science.

Sue Yockney

Yeovil based author Sue Yockney started writing when, as a member of an amateur dramatic group unable to find suitable material to perform, she decided to create something herself and ended up writing and directing three murder mystery plays that were well received by local audiences. Since then, she has concentrated on short stories and enjoys writing in a variety of genres. In early 2012, Sue left her job as a School Library Advisor to concentrate on her writing career. By August 2013, after what she describes as one of the busiest periods of her life, she had written her debut novel, a two-part dystopian romance/thriller, Happy Deathday and its sequel, Resurrection. The duology is based on a short story, Happy Deathday that was Highly Commended in the 2010 Yeovil Literary Prize and is set in an underground breeding colony after the Earth’s ozone layer has been destroyed by a gamma ray explosion. Both titles are available from Amazon, in Kindle and paperback formats.

Find Sue on Facebook and Twitter.

Craig Hawes

Craig Hawes grew up in Briton Ferry, South Wales. He has worked as a journalist in London and Dubai, where he currently lives. He was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize 2009, Runner-up in the Rhys Davies Prize 2010, and placed third in the Yeovil Short Story Prize, 2010. Craig's short stories have appeared in several publications and prize-winning anthologies, and he has also had stories and an afternoon play broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As a journalist Craig has had work published by the London Evening Standard, Sunday Times Style, Big Issue, Time Out Dubai and many others.

Craig on why he has written the collection: "When I looked in Dubai bookshops for fiction set in the UAE, written from an expat perspective, I couldn't find anything at all. That was in 2003. Ten years on, it's pretty much the same. But while I felt there was a gap in the market, I know Dubai would have seeped into my writing at some point anyway. It's been a big part of my life for the past decade."

'The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim' was published October, 2013… In the Arabian Gulf emirate of Dubai, the lives of locals and expatriates intertwine and collide as they strive to negotiate the shifting mores of an ever-changing city.

Joyce Mackenzie

I have entered competitions for several years now with Yeovil, both short story and book chapters. I was lucky enough to obtain a 'commended' for the first three chapters of my book A Bride for Sunil in 2006. I have persevered with my writing having been encouraged by this commendation and now have had a novel published in eBook and Paperback by Thistle Publishing. At 83 I am delighted. The book is easily available through AMAZON, entitled The Gold Mohur Tree and is partly set in India after Independence.

"2014 - Don't know how long I will keep on writing. Getting on a bit now. I will be 85 this year!! I'd like to tell you that my second novel has just been published. It is named A Bride for Sunil. This is the novel I was awarded a commended for in 2006. I re-wrote it and Thistle Publications have now published it. Perhaps you would like to post it as a success on your site. It is available through Amazon as a paperback and an e-book."

Rebecca Alexander

You were kind enough to publish a bio of me after last year's novel writing competition (I came 2nd!) and you might like to know what happened next! I was offered a three book deal, including A Baby's Bones, by a new imprint of Ebury, Del Rey UK, the first book to come out this autumn. I've just seen the first version of the front cover, and I've got my signing bonus, so it's starting to sink in! Sophie's kind words were so helpful, they gave me confidence to work on the book further, and it was instrumental on my being offered a 3 book deal rather than just one for the book that made me a Yeovil Literary Prize runner up. My editor really liked it, and it's certainly helped me dive into writing the sequel with a lot more assurance. I frequently mention writing competitions on my blog, and I shall be encouraging fellow writers to enter this year.

Thank you again!

Janet Edwards

In 2008, I was very new to writing, and was thrilled when my short story, Checkmate, came second in your short story competition. In 2009, Killing Kevin was highly commended. I'm contacting you now because I wanted to thank you for the encouragement this gave me to keep writing, and also to give you a news update on my progress.

A lot of exciting things have happened in the last two years, and I'm delighted to say that my debut novel, Earth Girl, will be published in English by HarperCollins Voyager UK in August 2012, and in German by Rowohlt in September 2012.

Thank you again to all the hard working people who help run the Yeovil Literary Prize.

Janet Edwards

David Tipping

David's book 'Like Father Like Son' has now been published. Last October saw it appear on the shelves of Winstone's bookshop on Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset.

Hazel Osmond

Hazel was the winner of the 2009 Short Story category with her superb short story Bonne Maman.

Hazel is now writing full time and has a four book contract with Quercus for romantic comedies with a bit of bite. Her first novel 'Who's Afraid of Mr Wolfe' was shortlisted for romantic comedy of the year in 2012, by the Romantic Novelists Association.

Her second book 'The First Time I Saw Your Face' came out as an ebook on June 21st and as a paperback on August 16th 2012.

Hazel is still writing short stories.

Jackie Gingell

"In the novel category for 2007 my entry 'Ee Eye Addyeo (The Farmer Wants a Wife)' was awarded a Highly Commended. This gave me the encouragement (and impetus) to finally do something with it. In all the submissions I made I mentioned the Yeovil Literary Prize and I feel that this was instrumental in my book finally becoming published. You can find out more/contact me via my website"

Sophie Duffy

Since winning the novel prize in 2006, The Generation Game has been published (2011) and also my second novel This Holey Life (2012), both by Legend Press. I am now represented by Broo Doherty of Wade and Doherty and am working on my next novel. I love being a writer and the Yeovil Prize was a huge step forward on my writing journey. Do enter the competition, as you never know...

Terri Armstrong

Originally Australian (from a small rural community) I came to the UK over twenty years ago and survived by washing dishes, typing and doing factory night shifts. Eventually I took a Diploma in Women's Studies at the University of North London, before completing a BA in Politics and Sociology (First Class) at the University of East Anglia. I began to write regularly after this, and gained a Diploma in Creative Writing from the UEA. I've found the scope to develop characters and ideas that writing a novel offers both exciting and challenging. Also a challenge is finding sustained amounts of time to write.

Standing Water is my first novel and has been published by Pewter Rose Press.

When Dom Connor returns to the Western Australian Wheatbelt for his mother's funeral after eight years away, he is shocked to find a region on the verge of collapse, devastated by drought and salinity. The family farm his brother Neal has run since he was seventeen is close to ruin.
For Neal's wife, Hester, the farm is a sanctuary, a haven from her troubled past; leaving is unthinkable, even as Neal's behaviour becomes frighteningly unpredictable. Dom, drawn to Hester, wants to help. But when Andy turns up - a link with the past for both Hester and Dom - his arrival threatens to explode an already highly-charged situation.
Long-held secrets are exposed and emotions drawn to the surface; change is inevitable.
Not everyone can survive it.

'A completely engaging and particularly vivid story about friends and family, love and death, set, mostly, in the brutally harsh outback… A powerful tale, loaded with pertinent, and increasingly poignant issues of betrayal and redemption, loss and new beginnings… Exceptional.'
Henry Sutton

Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly's children's novel, Red Rock, was Highly Commended in the 2010 Yeovil Prize. It went on to gain representation for Kate with Julia Churchill of the Greenhouse Literary Agency and will be published by Curious Fox in 2013.

Red Rock.

The ice caps have melted. The coastal areas we once knew are gone, and only scavvers now live in the flooded towns. The world has changed, but as 14-year-old Danni Rushton soon discovers, it isn't the first time... Living with her uncle after the tragic death of her parents, Danni s world is turned upside down when her aunt is assassinated. With her dying breath, she entrusts Danni with a strange, small rock. Danni must not tell a soul that she has it. But what is the rock for, and to what lengths must Danni go to keep it safe? This action-packed adventure takes the reader from the barren terrain of Greenland, to the flooded ruins of Cambridge, and on to a sinister monastery in Malta. In her effort to save her uncle and evade a power-hungry space agency, Danni discovers that friends aren't always what they seem, and a rock isn't always just a rock...

Kate can be contacted through her blog:

B A Morton

I'm a Geordie girl living in a small village in North Northumberland, where I work part time in the village GP surgery. I've written all my life but only sat down to write a novel when our family escaped the rat race, moving from Newcastle to Upper Coquetdale. I write primarily crime fiction and historical fiction/fantasy and tend to write in the wee small hours when there are fewer distractions. Living in such a rural location, I rely primarily on contact with other writers through an online community. A good friend within that community persuaded me to enter the Yeovil Prize.

Discovering that my novel had achieved second place in the 2011 Prize, gave me the assurance and confidence to believe in my own work. I'm sure it also influenced my publisher's decision. After learning I'd been short listed, I submitted Mrs Jones, my first novel, to Taylor Street Publishing. On the day I received news of my success in the competition I also learned I'd been accepted for publication.

The Prize has also opened other doors, with interviews, guest blog spots and acceptance into the CWA (crime writer's association). I was privileged to be invited along to Brympton for the first Brympton Literary festival. This allowed me the opportunity to experience public speaking and to share my work with others by reading excerpts; a wonderful experience, with some equally wonderful people. I now have a network of fellow crime and historical fiction writers and we are able to offer advice and support to each other re publishing, promotion and marketing.

So, the Yeovil Prize -

December 2011, my debut novel was finally published! Mrs Jones is a fast paced crime thriller set in New York, which follows British girl, Lizzie, as she evades the unwelcome attentions of the mob, aided by Tommy Connell a New York detective. It's been described as an action movie in print and has gone on to enjoy surprising success, spending three months in the Amazon UK top 100 best selling kindle chart and achieving a best rank of 20. It's available from Amazon in e-book and paperback -

October 2012 saw the release of my second novel Wildewood-Revenge, the first in The Wildewood Chronicles, a medieval, time-travel trilogy. It's set in my own little corner of Northumberland and based very loosely on facts unearthed when researching the history of our cottage, which is built on the site of a medieval chapel. A tale of unchivalrous knights, secrets and skulduggery! Available from Amazon in e-book and paperback -

Christmas 2012 will see the release of the Molly Brown, the sequel to Mrs Jones. The search for a missing child leads Tommy Connell into direct conflict with corrupt police officials and a notorious serial killer. The child's strange obsession with The Wizard of Oz, adds a further twist to a tangled tale.

I have a busy 2013 planned, firstly with Bedlam, a psychological thriller with a distinctly gothic feel, which achieved success in a short story competition and has subsequently been commissioned as a full length novel. This is an exciting project which I look forward to with relish. Book two of The Wildewood Chronicles - Redemption is also on the cards ... at the insistence of all those who've read book one!

If you'd like to find out more about my books check out -

My website -

The Wildewood Chronicles amazing book trailer -

Or contact me via The Wildewood Chronicles Face Book page. “Like” the page or leave a comment and I'll get back to you -

If I could give any advice to budding authors or competition entrants it would be - Write what you like to read, rather than following perceived trends. Listen to all advice but only make changes that you are happy with. Don't be disheartened by rejection, believe in yourself and the story inside of you.