let the words burst out of you

Winners of the 2017 GRIST competition

1st place

Ruby Cowling - Mating Week


2nd Prize

Tracy Fells - Coping Mechanism


3rd Prize

Martin Nathan - Salvage


Highly Commended

Olivia Randall - Space Diving


Calling all amateur and published writers! Grist Books are delighted to announce that they are publishing a collection of 5 books in 2016 simply titled ‘I’, ‘You’, ‘He’, ‘She’, ‘It’. Entrants should submit either short stories or poetry and can submit multiple entries. Each book is written in a different narrative voice and the entries should by either from a first, second or third person perspective.  Names will be also be removed from entries when being judged.

The top three winners of the competition will win prize money and have their work showcased at a prestigious literary event; the winners from last year had their books launched at the Huddersfield Literature Festival. This is a great opportunity for amateur writers to have their work published alongside established authors. Previous publications from competition winners include A Call in the Night by Gabrielle Leimon, Cowbody Genes by Wes Lee and Escape Kit by William Thirsk-Gaskill. 

The competition will be judged by five published writers, Helen Mort, Steve Ely, Sam Jordison, Ben Myers and Steve Finbow. Helen Mort is a published poet whom has received many awards for her work including the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and, in 2014, she was named as a 'Next Generation Poet'. Steve Ely is a poet and novelist who has been nominated for several awards for his poetry collections and has recently published a biography of Ted Hughes. Sam Jordison is a writer and journalist for The Guardian and the co-director of Galley Beggar Press and of the Crap Towns series of books. Ben Myers is a novelist, poet and biographer who has won and been shortlisted for many prestigious literary awards. Steve Finbow is a writer and lecturer who has written for the stage, as well as writing novels and biographies.


  • CLOSING DATE: 31st January 2016
  • Entry Fee: £5
  • Multiple submissions welcome
  • Maximum 5,000 words or 40 lines of poetry
  • First prize £500, Second Prize £250, Third Prize £125

How to enter

The GRIST 2013

The winners of the GRIST CHAPBOOK COMPETITION 2013 are:

  • Gabrielle Leimon The Huddersfield Story Collection
  • William Thirsk-Gaskill Escape Kit
  • Wes Lee Cowboy Genes

The shortlisted writers were:

  • Bill Lythgoe Is This The End?
  • Gabrielle Leimon The Huddersfield Story Collection
  • Jack Senior Poetry
  • Roger Jefferies Clapham Junction and Other Stories
  • William Thirsk-Gaskill Escape Kit
  • Wes Lee Cowboy Genes

And this is the longlist

  • Angela Sherlock Exports and Other Stories
  • Bill Lythgoe Is This The End?
  • Gabrielle Leimon Suffer and Serve
  • Gabrielle Leimon The Huddersfield Story Collection
  • Jack Senior Poetry
  • Mari Ellis Dunning Between The Sheets
  • Ralph Dartford The Riots
  • Roger Jefferies Land of Smiles
  • Roger Jefferies Clapham Junction and Other Stories
  • Roger Jefferies They’ll  Believe It
  • William Thirsk-Gaskill Escape Kit
  • William Thirsk-Gaskill Submarine Dreams
  • William Thirsk-Gaskill Throwing Mother in The Skip
  • Lefty Caligari After A Century  of Shadows
  • Wes Lee Cowboy Genes
  • Wes Lee Decoy Birds

Well done to all the winners and well done to all those who were shortlisted and longlisted.

We are now working on production of the books and will have news for you soon.

To keep up-to-date with Grist developments, please join us on Facebook


GRIST wants to publish the 6 best chapbooks at the end of 2013

We are looking for single collections of

  • poetry
  • short fiction
  • non-fiction
  • or anything  creative which exploits the chapbook format

About the books

How to enter

OR post to:


All submissions to be standard MS format


NB standard format:

Prose: 12 point, double spaced, single-sided, with indent rather than blank lines between paragraphs.

Poetry: 12 point, single-spaced, left justified, with no more than one poem per page.


GRIST Competition Winners 2011

Short Fiction:

1st (£500) - Alexander McQueen On Your Birthday by Wes Lee
2nd (£250) - Dance With a Skeleton by William Thirsk-Gaskill
3rd (£100) - A Crack by Tania Spooner


1st (£500) - Musk of the Full Moon by Tim Ellis
2nd (£250) - The Boats by Nicky Summerson
3rd (£100) - In Praise of The Office Cleaner by Geraldine Clarkson

GRIST competition 2011

In association with the Huddersfield Literature Festival 2011

GRIST Short Fiction – Short List

Name of Entrant

Title of Entry

Tania Spooner

A Crack

Stephen McQuiggan


Dave Pescod

The Archeologist’s Wife

John Todd

The House Next Door

Wes Lee

Alexander McQueen On Your Birthday

Jo Else

My Hard Luck

Ben Cheetham

A Perfectly Normal Man

Rosie Jones

Our Candyfloss Beach

Dan Malach

Sabotaging Bobby

Suzi Lester

Chicken in a Cold Climate

William Thirsk-Gaskill

Slow Dance With a Skeleton

GRIST Poetry – Short List

Name of Entrant

Title of Entry

Becky Cherriman

Behind The Eye

Geraldine Clarkson

In Praise Of The Office Cleaner

Jaime Henley

We Made Another World In Our Kitchen

Sharon Black

Love Is Not

Tim O'Leary

From Unbeautiful Things

Nicky Summerson

The Boats

Josephine Corcoron


Julie Mellor

The Moment

David J. Costello


Pete Adern

Sensible Shoes

Matt O'Brien

A hermit with a parking permit

Julian Turner

Cargo Cult

Tim Ellis

The musk of the full moon

Nina Boyd

Trick or Treat

Char March

Wings R Us

Many thanks to the judges: Helen Simpson, Lemn Sissay, David Gill, Gaia Holmes, Mark Ellis and Michael Stewart; for all their hard work.

All of the above are winners and will be published later this year. More information soon. In addition, there will be cash prizes of first (£500), second (£250) and third (£100) which will be announced at the launch of the Huddersfield Literature Festival 2011 at 7.30pm 16 March, Sleepers Bar, Huddersfield. http://www.litfest.org.uk/

GRIST Short Story Competition 2008


Short Fiction:

1st - Indigo Runway by Jess Richards (£250 plus £150 book tokens)
2nd - Martin in a Hole by Brindley Hallam Dennis (£150 plus £100 book tokens)
3rd - Stinky by Ben Cheetham (£100 plus £50 book tokens)


1st - The Birdbath's Saying 'Dive' by Jonathan Asser (£250 plus £150 book tokens)
2nd - The Fishing Trip by Hilary J Murray (£150 plus £100 book tokens)
3rd - Poem for the Love Lane Crow by Gareth Durasow (£100 plus £50 book tokens)

Grist Competition Shortlists

In association with the Huddersfield Literature Festival 2009

GRIST Short Fiction – Short List

Name of Entrant

Title of Entry

Ben Cheetham


Wes Lee

This Moment Between Things

Katherine Spink

The Unknown Boxer Shorts

Penny Aldrid

A Dangerous Crossing

Jess Richards

Indigo Runaway

Glenn Carmichael

Today I Changed a Baby

Timothy Allsop

Dipps, The Goose and the Gooley Goo

Kyrill Potapov

Unicorns Don’t Have Wings

Cath Humphries

Between Floors

Mick Haining


John Glander

Don’t Step on the Cracks

Brindley Hallam Dennis

Martin in a Hole

Paul Duncan


Louis Malloy

The Citizens

Natalya Lowndes

Tits Like Elephant’s Ears

Christopher Parvin

Vanilla Grave Dirt

GRIST Poetry – Short List

Name of Entrant

Title of Entry

Andrew Macmillan


Len Evans

Brothers of the Hood

Kate Dempsey

The Flight of Swallows

Roger Elkin

Game Game

Jonathan Asser

The Birdbath Saying Dive

Gareth Durasow

Poem for the Love Lane Crow

Lyn Roberts

Thin Red Line

Kelly Stanger

Lost and Found

Nina Boyd


Julie Mellor

Paper Flowers

Glynis Charlton

The Shave

Andrea Tang

This is Disaster Poetry

Justine Warden

Love Poem No 32

Hilary J Murray

Fishing Trip

Karl O’Neil


Jacquie Shanahan

Song Thrush

Skye Loneragan

Buying into the Property Market

Ami Rosingrave

The Elephant Who Came To Tea

Beda Higgins

DA’s Dublin 2008

Fiona Durance

Teaching Beginners Poetry

The winners were announced at the launch of the 4th Huddersfield Literature Festival 2009 on Wednesday 11 March.


Joanne Harris 2008/9 Short Story Judge

Joanne Harris - credit Magali Delporte

Joanne Harris was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels; The Evil Seed (1989), Sleep, Pale Sister (1993) and Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp

Since then, she has written seven more novels; Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Gentlemen and Players, and, most recently, The Lollipop Shoes and Runemarks, plus; Jigs & Reels, a collection of short stories. Her books are now published in over 40 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. In 2004, Joanne was one of the judges of the Whitbread prize (categories; first novel and overall winner); and in 2005 she was a judge of the Orange prize.


© Magali Delporte


Simon Armitage 2008/9 Poetry Judge

Simon Armitage - credit Jonty Wilde

Simon Armitage was born in 1963 and lives in West Yorkshire.

He has published nine volumes of poetry including Killing Time, 1999 (Faber & Faber) and Selected Poems, 2001 (Faber & Faber) His most recent collections are The Universal Home Doctor and Travelling Songs, both published by Faber & Faber in 2002, and most recently Gig: The Life and Times of a Rock-star Fantasist (Viking) . He has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Sunday Times Author of the Year, one of the first Forward Prizes and a Lannan Award.

He writes for radio, television and film, and is the author of four stage plays. His first novel, Little Green Man, was published by Penguin in 2001. His second novel The White Stuff was published in 2004.


© Jonty Wilde

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