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Meet the judges of BLF Short Story Competition 2023!

We are delighted to have a stellar line-up of judges for this years' short story competition.


Peggy Hughes has been Executive Director at the National Centre for Writing since January 2022, and was Head of Programmes for four years before that. She comes from Northern Ireland, went to university in Scotland, and stayed to spend her formative years in literature organisations there, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Peggy interviews writers at festivals and events around the UK and Ireland. When not reading, she is happiest outdoors - running, walking and looking.



Dr Amanda Hodgkinson is an international award-winning novelist, and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Suffolk. She is Editor and Publisher of the UoS Talking Shop Press and produces the MA Anthologies series of Suffolk-based original stories. A regular judge of literary competitions, Amanda is passionate about the importance of storytelling in all our lives.


Kate is the owner and lead bookseller at Harris & Harris Books in Clare. Before the shop, Kate had management careers in both hotels and then bookshops, as well as working at the award winning independent Much Ado Books in Alfriston, Sussex prior to the move to Suffolk and had already set up Harris & Harris Books as an on line business from home before taking over her father’s motor books business shortly after. Harris & Harris Books nestles in a scrumptious row of independent shops in the High Street in Clare, Suffolk’s smallest town and it is packed to the gunwales with new and old books amongst the props and elsewhats – ideal for readers and book-lovers of all ages. The bookshop may be small but there’s something for everyone and there’s someone on hand to be your personal shopper and help you find your perfect book or gift.


The short story competition closes at midnight on 31st August - so be sure to start putting your pen to paper soon to be in with a chance of winning some amazing prizes and the opportunity to be published in the Bury Free Press!




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