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The Plaza Prize-winners

The Plaza Prize Winners

The Plaza Short Story Prize (8000 words max)

1st: Camilla Macpherson (ENG)

Hitler's Alligator

Camilla Macpherson is a writer based in the UK. Her debut novel, Pictures at an Exhibition, was published by Random House and has been translated into Dutch, German and Polish. She has been recognised in a number of writing competitions including the Daily Mail First Novel Award 2008, the Bridport Prize, the Margery Allingham Crime Writers’ Association Short Story competition and the Fish Publishing prize. After many years living in London, Camilla recently spent five years in the Netherlands and is currently working on a novel set in war-time Holland. She lives with her husband and daughter, and enjoys cycling and reading detective fiction.

2nd: Stewart Green (ENG)

Smoke Jumpers

A number of years ago whilst on holiday I stumbled upon a small stall that was selling printed feature length screenplays. I bought ‘Rocky’ for $20! I loved it and felt compelled to write my own. I’ve written two feature length screenplays and written a handful of short stories. I am currently working on a novelette- length piece of fiction.
Aside from writing I’m a Police Detective based in the UK with my wife, 2 children and our black Labrador. When time allows I love being outdoors, in the mountains, climbing, running and cold water swimming.

3rd: Marcus Schneider (CAN)

Thundersnow

MJR Schneider is a twenty-four year old writer hailing from the Rural Municipality of St. Clements in Manitoba, Canada. He is currently an undergraduate at the University of Manitoba, double majoring in English literature and philosophy. He has studied abroad in Germany and the United States and speaks German, French and even some English. Until recently his work had only been published in the UofM’s Arts Tribune; it wasn’t until late 2022 that he began submitting entries to international literary contests, becoming a finalist for the first time in the Plaza Short Story Prize. Literarily, he has taken a great deal of inspiration from the likes of Flannery O’Connor, Kafka, Walser, Hamsun and Ryunosuke Akutagawa (among others) as well as from the peculiarities of his own native province and family history.

Highly Commended: Sherry Cassells (CAN)

The Beatniks Next Door

Sherry Cassells is a writer of short stories who sometimes keeps going and the work becomes a novel-length literary thriller, or once the entire first season of a sit-com. She has also written novellas, two screenplays, is currently working on book two of a four-part comedy series, a funny blog and a lit blog, and always, the short stories. Her work has been honoured in major literary competitions, including a nomination for the 2023 Pushcart Prize, and published in journals, magazines and anthologies.

Competition Judge: Roland Watson-Grant

The Plaza Sudden Fiction Prize (1500 words max)

1st: Fiona Dignan (ENG)

Small Deceits

Fiona Dignan started writing during lockdown to cope with the chaos of home-schooling four children. She writes poetry, flash and microfiction inspired by her experience of motherhood, place and identity.
She won The London Society poetry prize in 2023 and was shortlisted for the EHP Barnard Poetry Prize 2022. Her flash and microfiction has been placed in several competitions including Reflex, Retreat West and Propelling Pencil. She has been published in Mslexia, Popshot and Street Cake magazines.

2nd: Alan McCormick (IRE)

Boys on Film

Alan McCormick lives in Wicklow. He’s a trustee of InterAct Stroke Support who read fiction and poetry to stroke patients. Earlier this year he was awarded an Irish Arts Council Literature Bursary to work on a book of creative non-fiction.

His writing can be read in recent issues of The Stinging Fly, Banshee, Southword, Exacting Clam and Sonder; Best British Short Stories, Popshot and Confingo; and online at 3:AM Magazine, Fictive Dream, Dead Drunk Dublin, Mono, Words for the Wild and Époque Press. His story, ‘Fire Starter’, came second in last year’s RTÉ Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus.

3rd: Robert Tateson (SCO)

Comrade Brunhilde

Robert Tateson was born in Rotherham and studied genetics at Edinburgh
University. After working at the Sick Children’s Hospital as a research
scientist, he ‘dropped out’ and went back to Sheffield to work in a
steel rolling mill. Eventually he was washed up on the shores of Orkney
where he supported himself and his family by working as a coal-man,
chimney-sweep, docker, crofter and milkman before surrendering to fate
and becoming the maths/science teacher on the small island of Stronsay.
After thirty five years on Orkney he retired with his cat to
Kinlochbervie where he enjoys writing short stories and growing
vegetables.

Highly Commended: Sherry Cassells (CAN)

Emily by the Lake

Sherry Cassells is a writer of short stories who sometimes keeps going and the work becomes a novel-length literary thriller, or once the entire first season of a sit-com. She has also written novellas, two screenplays, is currently working on book two of a four-part comedy series, a funny blog and a lit blog, and always, the short stories. Her work has been honoured in major literary competitions, including a nomination for the 2023 Pushcart Prize, and published in journals, magazines and anthologies.

Competition Judge: Tara Laskowski

The Plaza Crime: First Chapters Prize

1st: Michael Lynch (ENG)

The Hour of Our Death

Michael Lynch was born in Bedfordshire England. He was shortlisted for the Colm Toibin Short Story Prize in 2018 and 2019. He was long listed in the Bridport Prize Short Story Prize 2021. He was 3rd in the Hastings First 1000 Words Novel Prize in 2021. He has published two volumes of poetry, Transparency: 60 Poems (2021) and small moments (2022). He is proud to say that the Plaza Prize First Chapters Prize is his first outright win.
He is currently an  English tutor in the Prison Education Services, and has four children.
The Hour of Our Death is his first novel which he is hoping to finish this year!

2nd: Caro Griffin (IRE)

The Grey Zone

Caro Griffin lives in London and Maine. She recently completed an MSt in Crime and Thriller Writing at Cambridge University. Her short story ‘Winter’ won PaperBound Magazine’s Writing Prize, and her story ‘Bones’ was one of the winners of the 2021 City Writes competition, sponsored by City, University of London. Her first novel, Lobster Wars, is about two boys who witness a murder on a remote island off the coast of Maine. The Grey Zone is a fast-paced, contemporary crime novel that also takes place in coastal Maine.

3rd: Rudy Thauberger (CAN)

Flex

Highly Commended: Mary Shovelin (BEL)

Restricted

Competition Judge: Sam Blake

The Plaza Memoir: First Chapters Prize

1st: Sheena Wilkinson (N.IRE)

Plan B

Described in The Irish Times as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’, Sheena Wilkinson has published eight novels, both contemporary and historical, as well as short stories. She has won many awards, including the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year. In 2012 Sheena was granted a Major Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Sheena lives in rural Northern Ireland and when she’s not writing she’s usually dog-walking or singing, sometimes both at once. Her first novels for adults, Mrs Hart’s Marriage Bureau, is published by Harper Collins Ireland in March 2023.

2nd: Gabriela Blandy (ENG)

12 Reasons to be Yourself

Gabriela is a writer and performer. She has been awarded the Royal Society of Literature V S Pritchett award and is published alongside Sarah Waters in Virago’s collection of ghostly tales, Something was There. After receiving a First Class degree in History, Gabriela trained at Drama Studio London where she was awarded student of the year. In 2007, she completed an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction, and co-founded writLOUD, a literary event based in London (now called Hubbub). Currently, she teaches ‘writing out loud’ for MA students at Oxford University, as well as hosting her own workshops for writers. She also provides mentoring services for writers.

Gabriela is the Assistant Director at The John Osborne Arvon Centre for Writers.

3rd: Nicola Godlieb (ENG)

An Evolution of the Eye

Nicola Godlieb writes poetry, memoir and fiction between London and the northwest of England. She has taught filmmaking with young people in Further Education for 18 years. She has been shortlisted for The Poetry Business International Pamphlet Prize and three times for the Bridport Flash Prize. Her work can be found in anthologies at Public Sector Poetry, Bath Flash Fiction, Reflex Flash Fiction and Oxford Flash Fiction.

 

Highly Commended: Russell Porter (AUS)

Lucho's Kaleidoscope

Competition Judge: Toby Litt

The Plaza Poetry Prize (60 lines max)

1st: Diana Cant (ENG)

Eating Seafood in Margate

Diana Cant is a poet and child psychotherapist living in rural Kent. She has an MA in Poetry from Newcastle University / The Poetry School. Her poems have been published in various anthologies and magazines including Agenda, Finished Creatures, Poetry News, The Alchemy Spoon and The North.
In 2021 she was voted Canterbury People’s Poet and, in 2023, was nominated for the Forward Prize (best individual poem). She is a regular reviewer for The Alchemy Spoon, and was its first guest editor. Her pamphlet, Student Bodies 1968, was published in 2020 by Clayhanger Press, and her second pamphlet, At Risk – the lives some children live, was published by Dempsey and Windle in 2021.

2nd: Jenny Pollak (AUS)

On Building a House

For most of her life Jenny Pollak has been a full time artist, focusing her arts practice in photography, sculpture and video installation. In 2012 she began a poetry practice, and has since been published in various journals and anthologies, including Meanjin; the Australian Poetry Journal; Red Room Poetry; Plumwood Mountain; and Australian Award Winning Writing. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Fish Poetry Prize, and the Newcastle Poetry Prize, among others. In 2016 she won the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize. Shadowplay, a collaborative poem written with the British Poet Philip Gross, was published as a pamphlet book by Flarestack Poets, UK, in 2018. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry.

3rd: Carlotta Riechmann (ENG))

Waiting for You with a Clementine in Montmartre

Carlotta Riechmann’s poems have appeared in journals such as Blue Marble Review, t’ART Magazine, Intangible, and more. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2022 with an MA in French and English Literature. After graduating, Carlotta spent two semesters as a language assistant at the University of Toulouse in France, where she held English creative writing workshops. She is currently working on a debut pamphlet.

Highly Commended: Bríd Murphy (IRE)

The Bungalows Dream

Bríd Murphy is a graduate of University College, Cork, where she studied English and Irish language and literature. She writes in various forms and teaches English in a secondary school in the south-east of Ireland. The Plaza Poetry Prize is her first “Highly Commended” award in a poetry competition. Bríd has also written a middle-grade novel, set in Dublin, and is currently seeking representation for it while she continues to write poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. She lives in Co. Waterford with her husband and teenage son.

 

Competition Judge: Richard Skinner

The Plaza Literary: First Chapters Prize

1st: Shelley Trower (ENG)

Ghost Snow & River

Shelley Trower is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Roehampton. Books include Senses of Vibration (2012), Rocks of Nation (2015), and Sound Writing (2023). Projects include the AHRC-funded Memories of Fiction and Living Libraries (2014-2020). Along with numerous academic publications she has also published creative non-fiction and fiction in magazines, journals and edited books, including The Big Issue, Life Writing, Australian Humanities Review, Sonic Faction, and Fictive Dream. Since taking voluntary redundancy she has found more time to write creatively, most recently publishing short stories including ‘Seagulls’ in Litro Magazine (2022 and nominated for the Pushcart Prize) while completing what she hopes will be her first novel, Ghost Snow & River. She also works freelance and as a part-time bid writer at the University of Plymouth. More at linktr.ee/shelleytrower

2nd: Kieran Marsh (IRE)

The Recipe of You

Kieran Marsh’s short fiction has been published, shortlisted and featured broadly in magazines and newspapers including New Irish Writing, RTE’s Arena program and most recently the Froom Literary Festival Competition. His novel, The Recipe of You, was shortlisted for the Flash 500 novel competition and got an honorary mention from the IWC for their Novel Fair. He is currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing in DCU. More information and links to published work on http://gooseberryseason.com.

3rd: Mary Brzustowicz (USA)

Madrid Haunts

Mary Brzustowicz is an American writer and essayist. Her tale about dancing with the Prince of Spain was published in Mused: Bella Online.  Rochester Spoken Word Collection published Mary’s short story about Shirley Jackson, and “Country Roads” was a semifinalist in The Writer Magazine Short Story contest.

 

Brzustowicz writes about growing up in a large family and her too-frequent domestic disasters in her blog, “Keep Mary Out of the Kitchen”.

Highly Commended: Jo Morey (ENG)

Lime Juice Money

Competition Judge: Simon Trewin

The Plaza Prose Poetry Prize

1st: Jude Willetts (ENG)

The Art of Leaning

Jude Willetts lives and works in London, UK. She has been shortlisted in several pamphlet and single poem competitions, including the Bridport Prize. Recently she has been exploring and experimenting with prose poetry and is currently working on her first collection of prose poems.

2nd: Helen Pletts (ENG)

The Laughter of Rats

Helen’s two early collections, Bottle bank and For the Chiding Dove, were published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon.
Also published in Aesthetica, Orbis, The Fenland Reed.
Helen’s poetry was longlisted for The Rialto Nature and Place Competition 2018 and 2022.
Helen was Longlisted for the 2019 Ginkgo Prize competition.
Helen’s poetry was Shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize in 2018, 2019 and 2022.
Longlisted for The National Poetry Competition 2022.

3rd: David Terelinck (AUS)

Have You Ever Fucked a Turtle?

David Terelinck is an Australian poet nefarious for holding words hostage on a page until they agree to become a poem. On the odd occasion, a ransom is paid to him in prize money. A lover of gin & tonic and long beach and rainforest walks, David feels we need more poetry less politics, and firmly believes dolphins should be running the planet.

Highly Commended: Oliver Sedano-Jones (ENG)

Vision Sonata Without Coda

Competition Judge: Maya C. Popa

The Plaza Flash Fiction Prize (1000 words max)

1st: Azaria Brown (USA)

Waterman-Men

A. Brown is a writer from coastal Virginia. She was a TED Residency Finalist in 2018 and a recipient of the MVICW Author Fellowship. In 2022, A. became a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and she was the first place winner of the Plaza Prizes International Flash Fiction Contest. A. is also a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Entropy Magazine, Honey Literary, Revolution Publication, Awake and Black Joy Unbound: An Anthology.

2nd: Barbara Black (CAN)

Ove Eriksson

Barbara Black’s work has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Geist, The Hong Kong Review, Prairie Fire, and CV2, and in many anthologies, including Bath Flash Fiction Award 2020. Achievements include: Fiction Finalist, 2020 National Magazine Awards; Winner, 2017 Writers’ Union of Canada Short Prose Competition; Winner, Federation of BC Writers Contests (Prose Poem) 2018 and (Flash Fiction) 2021/2022; and Shortlisted for the 2023 Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award. Her debut short story collection Music from a Strange Planet was a 2023 International Book Awards Finalist (Best New Fiction); 2023: Indie Reader Discovery Award Winner (Short Story Collection); 2023: Firebird Book Awards Winner (New Fiction) and Winner (Short Stories); 2023: Sunshine Coast Writers & Editors Society Book Award Winner (Fiction); and 2022: The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Winner (Adult Fiction). Her flash and microfiction collection Little Fortified Stories is forthcoming in spring 2024.

3rd: Katalin Abrudan (ENG)

Strangely Familiar

Born in Hungary in 1964, Katalin has lived in her second home, the UK, on and off for over twenty years. She has an M.A. in Theology and an M.A. in English Language and Literature. She is a Steiner Waldorf teacher and has also trained as a literary translator. Katalin has been a freelance English-Hungarian-English literary translator, editor and reviewer since 1999. Her translations include works by P.G. Wodehouse, Henry James, Arthur Machen, Keith Roberts, Lucy Foley, Mick Herron, Steve Cavanagh, Jesse Andrews and others. Her dream is to translate Hungarian literature into English. In her spare time she works on her creative writing and goes swimming every day. She lives in the New Forest with her very talented husband, an artisan leatherworker. Her older daughter is a Cambridge graduate in illustration and her younger daughter is training to be a chef. Katalin loves Hungarian vizslas.

Highly Commended: Aparna Parthasarthy (USA)

The Dark Alleys of Sonagachi

Competition Judge: Meg Pokrass

The Plaza Microfiction Prize (300 words max)

1st: Barbara Black (CAN)

What She Heard As Music

Barbara Black’s work has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Geist, The Hong Kong Review, Prairie Fire, and CV2, and in many anthologies, including Bath Flash Fiction Award 2020. Achievements include: Fiction Finalist, 2020 National Magazine Awards; Winner, 2017 Writers’ Union of Canada Short Prose Competition; Winner, Federation of BC Writers Contests (Prose Poem) 2018 and (Flash Fiction) 2021/2022; and Shortlisted for the 2023 Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award. Her debut short story collection Music from a Strange Planet was a 2023 International Book Awards Finalist (Best New Fiction); 2023: Indie Reader Discovery Award Winner (Short Story Collection); 2023: Firebird Book Awards Winner (New Fiction) and Winner (Short Stories); 2023: Sunshine Coast Writers & Editors Society Book Award Winner (Fiction); and 2022: The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Winner (Adult Fiction). Her flash and microfiction collection Little Fortified Stories is forthcoming in spring 2024.

2nd: Hongwei Bao (ENG)

A Postcard From Berlin

Hongwei Bao grew up in China and lives in Nottingham, UK. He studied Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia, and creative writing at City Lit, London. He uses poetry, short stories and creative nonfiction to explore issues of queer desire, Asian identity, gender politics and transcultural intimacy. His work has appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Ponder Review, Positions Politics, Shanghai Literary Review, The Autoethnographer, The Sociological Review, Voice & Verse, Write On and Words Without Borders. His nonfiction ‘Fragrant Bananas’ is forthcoming with the Allegory Ridge Nonfiction Anthology Allegheny.

3rd: Marie Gethins (IRE)

Banishing Maddo

Marie Gethins work has featured in Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 2014 National Flash Fiction Day anthology, The Incubator, Firewords and Control Literary. She won or placed in Flash500, Tethered by Letters flash, Dromineer Literary Festival, The New Writer Microfiction, Prick of the Spindle and 99fiction.net. Other pieces have been listed in the Doris Gooderson, Fish Short Story/Flash/Memoir, Listowel Writers Week Originals, James Plunkett Award, Words with JAM, Inktears, RTE/Penguin, Lightship, and WOW! Award competitions. She lives in Cork, Ireland, working on her Master of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford.

Highly Commended: Conor Montague (IRE))

An Evening With Bono

Conor Montague is from Galway. His fiction has appeared in Shooter Literary Magazine, The Lonely Crowd, HOWL: New Irish Writing, Galway Stories (Doire Press), Noir by Noir West: Dark Tales from the West of Ireland (Arlen House), The Real Jazz Baby (Reflex) Beguiled by a Wild Thing (Reflex) A Girl’s Guide to Fly Fishing (Reflex), Snow Crow (Ad Hoc Fiction), Sticks and Stones (Oxford Flash Fiction Prize) Survival: Award Winning Stories (Hammond House). He has been placed/shortlisted in numerous competitions, including The Bridport Prize, The Writers Bureau Short Story Competition, The Fish Prize, The V.S. Pritchett Short Story Award and Hammond House International Literary Prize.
Conor’s debut collection of short fiction, Capital Vices (Reflex Press) will be published on 22 Sept ’23.

Competition Judge: Carrie Etter

The Plaza Short Story Prize (5000 words max)

1st: Lou Kramskoy (ENG)

Dark Birdy Eyes

Lou Kramskoy is a London-based Animation Screenwriter with a background in Film and Television. In 2018 she graduated MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck winning both Departmental Awards – Sophie Warne Fellowship for Outstanding Graduate and Birkbeck Creative Writing Prize for Best Dissertation. Whilst on the MA she focused on short stories, some of which have won Awards (Aesthetica) whilst others have been long-listed (London and Bristol Short Story Prizes). In 2019 she won a place on The London Library Emerging Writer Programme. In 2020 her work was longlisted for UEA New Forms Award (from National Center for Writing), an early career award for writers whose fiction ‘explores the boundaries of possibility.’ She is currently just completing her first novel. The novel was shortlisted and highly commended in Writers and Artists Working Class Prize 2020 and in 2021 it won the Retreat West First Chapters Prize, judged by Sam Jordison of Galley Beggar Press.

2nd: J.B. Rex (USA)

The Horse

J.B. Rex was shortlisted in the 2023 ChipLitFest Short Story Competition, longlisted in the Fish Publishing 2022 Short Story Prize, won 2nd place in the 2018 Bluecat Screenplay Competition, was a finalist in the 2017 Screencraft Horror Screenplay Contest, and was published in the Conte Online literary journal. He spent 15 years in Boston working as a preschool teacher and playing music in a touring rock band (Charlene circa 1997 – 2008), as well as co-running a recording studio (Dented Head Studios) and an independent music label (SharkAttack! Music). He is currently a psychotherapist in private practice. J.B. Rex lives in Pennsylvania with his wonderful wife and two cats. He goes to the skatepark every weekend to ride his skateboard with all the youngsters, but has not perfected his frontside half cab kickflip, yet.

3rd: Sinead ni Braoin (IRE)

Cedok 87

Sinéad Ní Braoin divides her time between Donegal and France. Her short stories have been longlisted for the Bridport Prize and The White Review Short Story Prize. She was Highly Commended in the Maria Edgeworth Short Story Competition and The Dillydoun Review Flash Fiction Prize. This year she won 3rd Prize in the Plaza Short Story Competition. She plays bass in the rock band, Innocents Abroad.

Highly Commended: Masha Kamenetskaya (HUN)

The Letter Lady

Masha Kamenetskaya is a publisher, editor and a writer, living in Budapest (Hungary). She runs a literary and arts magazine “Panel”, manages cultural and art events. Her short stories have featured such publications as Verses of Silence, Flying Ketchup Press (the anthology Tales from the Dream Zone), 45 Magazine Women’s Literary Journal, Budapest Local, and others. The collection of short stories On The Set was published by Duck Lake Books (USA) in 2020.

 

Competition Judge: Annie DeWitt

The Plaza Poetry Prize (40 lines max)

1st: Maria Castro Dominguez (ESP)

Sweet Bananas

Maria Castro Dominguez is the author of ‘A Face in The Crowd’ her Erbacce–press winning collection and ‘Ten Truths from Wonderland’ (Hedgehog Poetry Press) a collaboration with Matt Duggan. Winner of the third prize in Brittle Star´s Poetry Competition 2018. Finalist in the 2019 Stephen A DiBiase Poetry contest NY and was highly commended in the Borderlines Poetry Competition. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals such as Apogee, Orbis, The Long-Islander Huntington Journal NY, Popshot, PANK, Empty Mirror, Live Encounters, The Chattahoochee Review and Salamander Magazine.

2nd: Jenny Pollak (AUS)

How to lose a whole forest

For most of her life Jenny Pollak has been a full time artist, focusing her arts practice in photography, sculpture and video installation. In 2012 she began a poetry practice, and has since been published in various journals and anthologies, including Meanjin; the Australian Poetry Journal; Red Room Poetry; Plumwood Mountain; and Australian Award Winning Writing. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Fish Poetry Prize, and the Newcastle Poetry Prize, among others. In 2016 she won the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize. Shadowplay, a collaborative poem written with the British Poet Philip Gross, was published as a pamphlet book by Flarestack Poets, UK, in 2018. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry.

3rd: Pete Concahsmith (ENG)

The wheels of my wagon are possibly square

I live in Southwest England with my wife and young son. I’ve been writing poetry since I was eight, when I was encouraged to write about spider monkeys by my teacher. My career took me in and out of archaeology, landscape gardening and house renovation, though I’ve landed back where I started and am trying poetry one more time before I move on to crafting medieval themed coffee mugs. I have had one published poem to date, in Current Archaeology.

Highly Commended: Wren Siofra Llloyd (ENG)

When You Feel So Very Small

Wren is an avid nature lover, poet, water-colour painter, homeopath, and mother living among the curlews, at her smallholding with her family in the spectacular Staffordshire Moorlands.
She wrote poetry from her early teens, with a big gap where she stopped being able to write. Beginning the process of recovering from dissociative amnesia in 2021, the well-spring re-opened at the end of the year and Wren has written 70+ poems to date, on the subjects of childhood trauma, love, loss and nature.
Her first 7 submissions have been long listed, and 4 of them shortlisted for The Plaza Poetry Prize (40 lines) & The Plaza Audio Poetry Prize. She received a commendation for ‘When You Feel So Very Small’.
She’s very excited to present her poems, which are often brutally honest, autobiographical & relatable poems about self acceptance, healing & the love of life and the Earth.

Competition Judge: Pascale Petit

The Plaza Audio Poetry Prize

1st: Julie Sheridan

The Men at My Fence

Raised on the west coast of Scotland, Julie was fascinated by Spanish as a child and spent her pocket money on pocket dictionaries. After graduating in Hispanic Studies from the University of Glasgow, she settled in Edinburgh before moving to Barcelona in 2011. Her work has been published in journals including Lines Review, Poetry Scotland, Poetry Ireland Review and Causeway/Cabhsair, as well as anthologised in Unbridled. Most recently, one of her poems secured fourth place as ‘highly commended’ in the Welsh International Poetry Competition with another winning third prize in the McLellan Poetry Competition. She’s currently working towards her first collection.

2nd: John D. Kelly

The Scallcrows

John D Kelly lives in Co. Fermanagh. His poetry has appeared in many literary
magazines and anthologies including Poetry Ireland Review, Magma, Cyphers,
Crannog, Skylight 47, The Honest Ulsterman, etc. Among several awards, he
won the Listowel Poetry Short Collection Award and also the Desmond
O’Grady International Poetry Competition, in 2020. His manuscript was highly
commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2016. Most recently he was
a finalist in the Montreal International Poetry Prize, 2022. His first collection:
The Loss Of Yellowhammers was published by Summer Palace Press in 2020.

3rd: Ashlee Paris-Jabang

The Leather Year

‘Born in the UK, raised in the Federation of St.Kitts-Nevis, on the beautiful island of Nevis makes Mrs Ashlee Paris-Jabang 2nd generation Windrush. Mrs Jabang is a Creative Therapy Practitioner, Freelance Producer, Spoken Word Artist, Voiceover Artist, Filmmaker and Co-founder of Soulfully Creative. Her influential poetry on black culture and social injustices led to being a regular contributor to BBC Radio Derby and a Cohort member of the Momentum project by WeAreParable in collaboration with Channel 4. Mrs Jabang is a mommy to two Queens and a wife to her loving husband and he is the inspiration to her latest work of poetry exploring Black Love.

Highly Commended: Paul McMahon (IRE)

Tom's Pouch of Cure-stones

Winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Prize, 2023, Paul was also awarded The Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize by Carol Ann Duffy and The Nottingham Open Poetry Prize by Neil Astley. Other awards include 1st prize in The Moth International Poetry Prize, 1st prize in The Westival International Poetry Prize, and bursary awards for poetry from The Arts Councils of Ireland and N. Ireland. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Poetry Review, Rialto, London Magazine, Threepenny Review, and Best New British and Irish Poets.

Competition Judge: Anthony Joseph