It is with great pleasure that we present the Judging Panel for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2016.
Our judges are successful literary professionals who have previously judged numerous writing awards.
They are passionate about new and inspiring works that demonstrate creativity and excellence.
Aesthetica Creative Writing Award
The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is also judged by a Reading Panel. This year the panel includes Martine Pierquin, Course Organiser in Creative Writing and Film, Media and Contemporary Cultures at the University of Edinburgh Short Courses; Stephen Toase, whose work is published extensively and who is currently working with imove Arts on a project called Haunt; Liz Jones, teaching Fellow at Aberystwyth University’s Theatre, Film and Television Department; and David Wharton, Course Director of the Certificate in Creative Writing at the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester.
Journalist and Literary Critic
Arifa Akbar is a journalist and literary critic. She reviews books for Monocle Radio and BBC Radio 5 Live. She is the former literary editor of The Independent, where she worked from 2001 until 2016, as a reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She has been a judge for the Orwell Prize (2013), the Fiction Uncovered Prize (2014), and the British Book Industry Awards (2016). Arifa has chaired author interviews at the London Literature Festival, English PEN, Asia House and the Bath Literature Festival, among others. Articles by Arifa include an interview with 2015 Man Booker winner Marlon James and Why Elena Ferrante should remain anonymous.
Professor Oz Hardwick
Writer, Photographer and Musician
Oz Hardwick is a York-based writer, photographer and musician, who has been published extensively worldwide, and has read everywhere from Chicago to Glastonbury. Valley Press published his fifth poetry collection, The Ringmaster’s Apprentice in 2015. He has had work performed by classical musicians in UK concert halls, flamenco musicians in Italian villas, and artists in an Australian cinema. His collaborative chapbook with Amina Alyal, Close as Second Skins, was shortlisted in the Best Collaborative Work category of the 2015 Saboteur Awards, in which Oz was also shortlisted for Best Spoken Word Performer. He is Professor of English and Programme Leader for English and Writing at Leeds Trinity University.