And the winners are…

On 14 April we rolled out the virtual red carpet for the 26 Awards. Joined by 26ers from all over the world, we gathered round our screens to find out who would be this year’s winners…

Thanks to Zoom, more 26ers were able to join our awards night than ever before. And we were treated to readings from the shortlisted writers and more – highlighting the incredibly high standard of writing in the running this year.

Emerging Writer Award

Winner: Chloe Biggs

Highly commended:

Faima Bakar
Nikita Chadha
Alex Mawson-Harris
Gemma Wilson

The judges were so impressed by the shortlisted emerging writers that all were highly commended. But it was Chloe Biggs who won the top prize – impressing the panel with her ability to move seamlessly between writing for different audiences and genres, from campaigns to help young people find vital support, to personal work exploring the issues of race and injustice.

Project Award

Winner: SJ Butler for A Common Place

Highly commended:

Gemma Cantelo for 26 Wild
Galen O’Hanlon for EyeSpy at the Bloomsbury Festival


Lucy Beevor for 26 Weeks
Andrea Malcolm for Dear 26
Roger Morris for 26 Flashes

After a bumper year of projects, choosing a winner from the shortlisted writers for 26 Weeks, 26 Wild, Dear 26, 26 Flashes, EyeSpy and A Common Place was never going to be an easy job. But it was SJ Butler’s piece ‘Flow’ for A Common Place which took the trophy. Partnering with artist Ardyn Halter, SJ’s poem is an immersive, irresistible piece of writing, and a wonderful example of creative partnership.

And after the winners were announced there was one more treat in store – a touch of ‘showbiz’ with a writerly twist – a Q&A between 26’s Alastair Creamer and actor Joseph Millson. Joseph shared a generous, warm insight into his memoir WORK… And Other Four-Letter Words, and how perseverance helped his story find a home.

Keep an eye on the newsletter in the coming months to hear more from the winning writers. And in the meantime, why not take a look back at the projects from the past year? Award or no award, there’s so much to celebrate.

– Sophie Gordon

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