Meet the Judges

Abi Hynes

Abi Hynes is an award-winning drama and fiction writer based in Manchester. She won the Cambridge Short Story Prize in 2020 and was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction’s ‘Novella-in-flash’ award in 2017. Her debut short story collection, MONSTROUS LONGING, came out with Dahlia Publishing in October 2023.

Abi’s stage plays have been performed in theatres across the UK. She wrote the first four episodes of historical audio drama DARK HARBOUR, and a major adaptation of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES starring Catherine O’Hara and Victor Garber and narrated by Sandra Oh, both for Audible. She was also on the Brit List in 2022, and is currently developing a number of original drama projects for TV.

Iqbal Hussain

Iqbal Hussain is a writer from Blackburn, Lancashire and he lives in London. His work appears in various anthologies and on websites including The Willowherb Review, The Hopper and caughtbytheriver. He is a recipient of the inaugural London Writers’ Awards 2018 and he won Gold in the Creative Future Writers’ Awards 2019. In 2022, he won first prize in Writing Magazine’s Grand Flash competition and was joint runner-up in the Evening Standard Short Story Competition. In 2023, his story ‘I’ll Never Be Young Again’ won first prize in the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature short story competition. He was also Highly Commended in the Emerging Writer Award from The Bridge Award. Northern Boy is his first novel.


Laura Coleman

Laura Coleman (@lauravcoleman) writes short stories, satires, creative non-fiction and poetry. These explore her fascination with people: their minds and motives, their loves and losses, what pushes them to act and what pulls them apart. Her short story, ‘A Form of Freedom’, won the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2023 and explores the theme of free will vs determinism in the context of a tragic love triangle. Her black comedy, ‘OBSESSION: A Compulsive Love Story’, won first prize in the Ilkley Literature Festival Short Story Competition 2019. She travelled and taught English as a second language for several years before returning to her native Leicester, where she works as a content writer and copy editor for a charity. Her work can be found at