Winners 2020/21

TLC Free Reads 2020/21 was open to writers of prose (fiction, children’s, narrative non-fiction and short stories), poetry, and scripts for TV, Film, Radio or Theatre.

Our winners are announced below – congratulations to all and we look forward to hearing more from you in future!

TLC is funded by Arts Council England.


Alex Ivey, ‘Roam’

Alex Ivey is a graduate of UEA’s Creative Writing MA. Her novels have been shortlisted for Mslexia’s Children’s Novel Competition and David Fickling’s Master of the Inkpot Award, and longlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award, the Bath Novel Award and Mslexia’s Women’s Novel Competition.

Carl Meek, ‘We Were’

Carl Meek grew up on a council estate in Luton. He went on to study media at university and has lived in various parts of the world, most recently in Colombia, South America. He has always had an interest in writing but coming from a working-class background it was never really encouraged. ‘Literature wasn’t something we talked about; it wasn’t on our radar’. Carl now resides in his home county of Bedfordshire where he runs a coffee shop with his wife and business partner. He is currently working on a memoir about his early childhood.

Patricia Mullin, ‘Casting Shadows’

Formally a designer, Patricia Mullin is a graduate of Central/St Martins, Goldsmiths College, and the Writing the Visual MA: Norwich University of the Arts – exploring the relationship between creative and critical writing and visual culture. Course Director: George Szirtes. Author of Gene Genie, Patricia is also included in three Words and Women anthologies pub: Unthank Press and three times shortlisted for The Bridport Prize. She disseminates her practice by leading site-specific workshops linked to collections and exhibitions. Patricia is keen to embark on Standing In The Way Of The Light a novel set in 1970’s London and the speculative present.

Angela Neville, ‘Lennon Curd & The Name-Tage of Temptation’

Angel Neville wrote her first full length novel when she was 14 and had success in young writer’s festivals for the Royal Court and BBC Radio Drama. She has been a member of Essex Audio Theatre since 1993 as a writer, actor and director. Favourite roles have been playing a potato and a rosebush – nowhere else but radio! In 2012 she revised and published a fantasy novel, The Season Saga. In 2014, she collaborated on the creation of a theatre and radio production of Can This Be England? based on personal experiences of the welfare system. 

Hilary Hanbury Adams, ‘Human Glue’

Hilary Hanbury Adams was born in Norfolk and raised in Suffolk, flitting across the country from Scotland to Sheffield to Devon before returning to her birthplace. She is passionate about writing and has had work published in a women’s anthology and also in a collaborative work through the Norwich Forum Writer’s group. When she was ten she won a national writing competition organised by Cadbury’s receiving a certificate and a year’s supply of chocolate.  She writes fiction and poetry and her first novel spans eight decades.  She has three daughters and lives in a beautiful village in the heart of Broadland.

Donna McLuskie, ‘Harpa’s Saga’

Creative writing has always been crucial to Donna McLuskie’s wellbeing. After failing to finish writing a novel when she was ten, Donna studied design at university instead. Upon graduation, she drew construction details for skyscrapers and for DisneyWorld themepark. Using the same technical pens, she now creates pareidolia drawings. Her website is www.hiddencreaturesart.com Following work as an aircraft restorer, advertising salesperson, then chef, Donna finally took her writing life serious and completed an MA in Creative Writing. Asperger’s Syndrome affords her tremendous concentration for creative work. Her biggest challenge is objective perception of her writing, so TLC feedback is very welcome.

Maggie Williams, ‘Reckless’

Having retired from nursing and social care management, Maggie Williams Richmond spent several years in France with her dog Shadow, helping to restore a house in the Languedoc and to create a garden in Brittany. Now based in King’s Lynn, she rides a tricycle, waits for an allotment, dreams of travelling round the world… and writes. Over the years Maggie has written poetry, songs, academic theses, sermons, study material, and opinion pieces for blogs. Her first, and very recent, foray into historical fiction was inspired by research into the life of her 10th-great-grandfather – supposedly “the most corrupt man of his generation”.