Updated: Feb 8
Introducing The Publishers' Prize 2020 Shortlist:
Dora Dimitrova is in her third year of European Social and Political Studies at UCL. Born in Bulgaria, she has lived in different countries her whole life: Serbia, Italy, Sweden, the UK and France. Books have been her constant companion for as long as she can remember, and they have also been the means through which she has integrated into the cultures of the places she has called home. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, vintage shopping, and collecting stamps.
A particular library in Alina’s hometown in Romania left a deep impact on her mind. It made her come to the realisation that libraries are one of the few spaces that truly belong to everybody. She is grateful that such places still continue to exist. Currently, she is in the final year of her Comparative Literature degree. After graduation she will continue studying, undertaking a Master’s in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation at Oxford University.
Jennie Balaganeshan is in her final year at UCL and is currently studying for a degree that combines both the literary and the technical, but she is certainly more creative. If you have a dog, you are already friends with her. She draws inspiration from the little things that happen in our everyday lives and tries to add a twist. When the weather allows, you can find her skating the streets and reading under the sun.
Yaning Wu’s motivation is rooted in empathy. An aspiring health equity advocate, music conductor and word choreographer, she can be spotted buying used books that she will not read and agonising over just-past-al-dente pasta. Yaning comes from mosquito-infested Beijing summers, creaky-ladder-mulberry-picking New York, soccer games on breezy Cairo turfs, and Kenyan lakes that turn flamingo-highlighter pink.
Catherine Yuefang Tang, a third-year BA Linguist Llama, has more dreams than she could pen in prose and poetry. Her current schedule allows her to equally love four things: presidenting UCL Writers' Society, writing a dissertation about children’s irony acquisition (without mastering it herself), watching Disney cartoons and writing a 300,000-word novel about a child in WWII. She plans to give all her credits in prose writing to Adrienne Goetz, Sara Wingate Gray and Alan Li (who should, but most likely won't take them).
Caithlin is currently studying for an MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture at UCL. She likes to spend her time reading, writing, and drinking socially unacceptable quantities of coffee. Her current interests include diving into the world of postcolonial feminist literature and accumulating a large number of plants. Caithlin’s previously published literary works include, what she jokingly describes as, ‘third-rate Tumblr poetry’.
Hûw Steer is an author, historian, and comedian. He did his BA and MA in Ancient History at UCL, where he somehow got away with writing about ancient science
fiction. He has previously been published in the 2016 and 2018 Publishers’ Prize anthologies and in The Future Fire's Making Monsters (2018).
His first novel, The Blackbird and the Ghost, received five-star reviews and was a semi-finalist in the 2019-20 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. His second, Ad Luna, has just been released, so it hasn’t really had any yet.
As a History student, Libby Randall spends most of her time in libraries, foraging for books about years gone by. Her greatest inspirations are often little moments lost in time, and whether writing wacky medieval plays on behalf of UCL Comedy Club or plotting stories in her bedroom, she loves infusing her work with glimpses of the past. Libby loves expressing her creativity through writing fiction, but also has a passion for film, painting and journalism.
Anna Sogomonian is a student of English at UCL. She hopes to work in the film industry one day, but until then can be found at home making her way through what feels like a never-ending IMDb watchlist. Her artwork has previously been recognised by the Royal Academy of Arts, and her baking continues to be recognised by her appreciative and hungry family members. When asked for a fun fact about herself, she is likely to mention that she was born in a car and very narrowly avoided being named after it, which would’ve been funny for a while but scarring for a lifetime.
Jonathan Huish studied Classics at Durham University, where he began producing translations of Latin, Greek and Anglo-Saxon poetry, as well as writing poems of his own. After a brief hiatus, he returned to the world of academia and is currently studying part-time for an MA in Classics at UCL, using this to further his research into classical lyric poetry and classically-informed works of modernism. Alongside his studies, he works as an administrator for a structural engineering firm.
✒︎The Pub Prize Team