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Manchester talent wins Bridport Prizes

28 Nov 2011

A PhD researcher at The University of Manchester has scooped first prize in the Flash Fiction category of one of Europe’s most prestigious open literary awards.

Sociologist Becky Tipper published her first creative non-fiction essay in the journal Literary Mama earlier this year.

She caught the eye of author and competition judge A L Kennedy to win The Bridport Prize for her 250 word story entitled Meeting the Lobster.

The competition attracts thousands of entries from the UK and over 80 countries around the world.

A former Creative Writing student at The University of Manchester, the poet, Rebecca Perry also received a Highly Commended prize for her poem Giving Alms to the Birds.

Perry, who graduated in Manchester in 2008 with a master’s degree in Creative Writing, was one of three poets to come out on top.

She now edits children’s books in London and has published in New Welsh Review, Smiths Knoll and The Rialto and recently contributed to This Line is Not for Turning: An Anthology of Contemporary British Prose Poetry (Cinnamon Press).

Becky Tipper said: “I'm delighted to have won this prize.

“This was the first competition I have entered, so it was a great confidence boost to have A.L. Kennedy choose my story.

“I recently became interested in the idea of 'flash fiction' partly because it is something that I can work on in my spare time while I do my PhD - it's a very manageable size.

“I was intrigued by the challenge of using only a few words to tell a story that is convincing and satisfying.”

A L Kennedy said, “I would like to thank all those who entered the competition for this year’s Bridport Prize.

“This involved writers in making a commitment to a form which is remarkably demanding – short fiction.

“An effective short story, or piece of flash fiction, delivers the impact of a novel in only a few thousand words, or only a few hundred. It is a singularity, a moment of remarkable meeting between reader and writer.

“The flash fiction pieces were extremely penetrating and confident. Becky Tipper’s ‘Meeting the Lobster’ genuinely takes the reader through a journey of increasing emotional identification and the title works well.” 

Poet Laureate and competition judge,Carol Ann Duffy said: “I hugely enjoyed reading the longlist of poems for the Bridport Poetry Prize 2011 and was seriously impressed by the range and vitality of the poems, which I hope is reflected in my selection of 14 terrific poems.

“All three winning poems display risk, originality and the sense that they were necessary to write and I warmly congratulate their authors and also the other highly commended poets represented.”