Meet the Judges

Rebecca Burns

Rebecca Burns is a writer of short stories and fiction. Her work has been published in over thirty online and print journals. She has won or been placed in many competitions including the Fowey Festival of Words and Music Short Story Competition. Her debut collection of short stories, Catching the Barramundi, was published by Odyssey Books in 2012 and was longlisted for the Edge Hill Award. Her second collection, The Settling Earth (2014) was also longlisted for the Edge Hill. Her debut novel, The Bishop’s Girl, was published in 2016, and her third collection of short stories, Artefacts and Other Stories, appeared in 2017, both again published by Odyssey Books. Her second novel, Beyond the Bay was published in September 2018.

Rebecca Burns will act as our chair of judges.

Melissa Fu

Melissa Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and now lives in Cambridge. With a background in physics and English, she worked in education before focusing on writing. Melissa was a 2017 Apprentice with the London-based Word Factory and the regional winner of the 2016 Words and Women Prose competition. Since 2014, she has taught writing courses and mentored writers through her small business, Spilling the Ink. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Falling Outside Eden (2019), was published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. In 2018/2019 Melissa was the David TK Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia. She was also the recipient of an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice grant to work on her first novel, Peach Blossom Spring, due to be published in 2022 in the UK (Wildfire/Headline) and the US (Little, Brown).

Dan Powell

Dan Powell is a prize-winning author of short fiction and a First Story writer-in-residence. His stories have appeared in The London Magazine, Carve and Best British Short Stories and his debut collection, Looking Out of Broken Windows, was shortlisted for the Scott Prize and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Edge Hill Prize. He is currently working on his PhD as an AHRC/Midlands4Cities-funded Doctoral Researcher in Creative Writing at University of Leicester. His thesis explores preclosure and closural staging in short fiction. Dan can be found online at and as @danpowfiction.