The Emerging Writer Award


Established in 2015, the Emerging WriterAward (formerly the Bridge Award) is now in its seventh year, and is run by Moniack Mhor in partnership with The Bridge Awards,  a philanthropic venture that provides funding for the arts, cultural heritage, conservation, and community projects. 

The Emerging Writer Award is open to unpublished prose writers (fiction) living and working in the UK with a collection of short stories or novel in development. 

The award winner receives a tailor-made package worth up to £2,000 including tuition via open courses, retreat time and/or mentoring at Moniack Mhor. A second-place finalist will also receive a course or retreat.


Winner – 2022 Emerging Writer Award

Natalia Theodoridou

Natalia Theodoridou is a queer writer of strange stories that exist in the interstices between literary and speculative fiction. He has won the World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction, the Silver Prize for poetry in the Creative Future Writers’ Awards, and the Word Factory Apprentice Award. He has also been longlisted for prizes such as the Galley Beggar Short Story Prize, the Manchester Fiction Prize, the White Review Prize, and the BBC National Short Story Award. His stories and poems have appeared in Kenyon ReviewThe Cincinnati ReviewNinth Letter, and Strange Horizons, among other venues, and have been translated into Italian, French, Greek, Estonian, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. He holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from SOAS. An immigrant to the UK for many years, Natalia was born in Greece and has roots in Georgia, Russia, and Turkey.

I spent the week after learning I won Moniack Mhor’s Emerging Writer Award in a state of disbelief, half-expecting a follow-up email in which I’d be informed that, regrettably, some mistake had been made. Yet here we are! It’s an honour and such an incredible vote of confidence. I applied for the Award hoping to be given the space, time, and support necessary to work on my debut short story collection; for all writers, but especially for marginalized ones, that license can be as vital as air. When describing my work, I said many of the worlds in my stories are utopias where people take care of each other, for once. I wasn’t expecting my little shot in the dark to be answered so kindly and so soon. I am grateful.

Second-place Finalist

Lucy Steeds is a writer based in London. She has degrees in English Literature and World Literatures from Oxford University, and was one of 38 writers selected for the London Library’s inaugural Emerging Writers Programme. Her writing has been shortlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award, the Exeter Novel Prize and the Spotlight First Novel Award, and has won the Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize and the Flash 500 Novel Competition. Her current work explores painting, gender, and forgeries, as well as the different ways in which we create and consume art.


Highly Commended

Sally Hughes was raised in West Yorkshire and lives in the West Highlands. Since completing a PhD in Scottish Literature at the University of Aberdeen, she has worked in academic and public libraries, so most of her life has been spent in the company of books. Her stories have been published by Ghost Orchid Press and Northwords Now. She was shortlisted for the 2022 Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards. Sally is currently completing the manuscript of The Heron-Mother, the first novel in a Young Adult trilogy set in Iron-Age Scotland.


Gabrielle Johnson is a 2021 London Writers Award recipient and a member of the 2019 LGBT+ writing collective, The Future is Back. Their work has been published with Cipher Press and Fourteen Poems, received a Special Mention in the 2021 Life Writing Prize, featured at Leeds’ 2021 Virtual LGBT+ Literary Festival, won the 2021 Morrab Library Short Story Prize and been selected for a 2022 Extra Teeth Mentorship. Gabrelle is a barber, bartender and the Co-Founder and Editor of LGBT+ literary magazine, clavmag.


Andrea Mullaney was a journalist for many years, covering arts and culture for many newspapers, magazines and radio programmes, including stints as a TV critic, columnist and political commentator. She’s also been a carer, a cook and a college lecturer. She now writes historical fiction which aims to make the connections between then and now, through engrossing stories with unusual twists. Andrea is represented by Louise Lamont of LBA Books and is working on the final draft of her first novel, The Ghost Marriage which is set in 19th Century Shanghai.


You can read about previous winners of the Emerging Writer Award on this page.

The Emerging Writer Award is currently closed for entries and will reopen Winter 2022.

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