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MA student wins 2012 Margaret Hewson Prize for creative writing

Posted on 31/05/2012
Judi Sutherland

Royal Holloway, University of London is delighted to announce that MA student Judi Sutherland has been awarded the third annual Margaret Hewson Prize for creative writing, judged by literary agents Johnson & Alcock.

Judi was an unanimous winner for her poetry collection, Skipping a Generation. Costa-winning poet Professor Jo Shapcott, who runs the course with Sir Andrew Motion and novelist Susanna Jones, commented: "Judi is the first of our poets to carry off the award which has been won only by fiction writers in previous years. Clarity, energy, wisdom: these are the hallmarks of her poetry and we are delighted that her fine work caught the eye of the judges."

Guest judge and Faber author Alex Preston described Judi’s work as “a collection of remarkable intelligence, confidence and skill”, and he praised her "extraordinary freshness and... unique energy.”

Judi says: “This prize means a lot because it can be very difficult to get poetry published. It’s good to know that a group of literary professionals have read my poems and seen something to enjoy, especially as the standard in the MA group is extremely high.” She adds: “The workshops offered by Jo and Andrew on the course have been invaluable in honing our critical faculties and the thoughtful comments of my fellow students have been much appreciated. I hope the Hewson Prize will help to get my work noticed and raise my profile as a poet. I’d like to thank Johnson and Alcock for giving us the opportunity to showcase our work – and I think the process is advantageous to all of us on the course, not just the lucky winner.” This year, in a particularly strong field, novelist Livia Franchini and poet Lavinia Singer were also highly commended.

The Margaret Hewson Prize is open to all students on the Creative Writing MA at Royal Holloway – it aims to recognize and encourage new writing talent, and to commemorate an extraordinary agent and her unique contribution to the publishing world.


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