In 2018 we ran three competitions.


The winner of the Hastings LitFest and Crooked Cat Publishing Crime Novel Competition was Dakota Canon for The Unmaking of Eden.

The novel follows two sisters, Eden and Hope, as they escape from a fundamentalist religious community in North Dakota and go into hiding.

The author, who lives in San Francisco, has previously been placed in the Manchester Fiction Prize, the Writer’s Digest Annual Short Story and Brilliant Flash Fiction competitions, and her work has recently appeared in Literary OrphansCold Creek Review, and Seven Deadly Sins: A YA Anthology.


Runner up was Gordon M Scott with The Girl from Long Ago, a supernatural crime thriller with themes of obsession, sexual exploitation and revenge.

Gordon M Scott with Amanda Burton

Gordon was born and educated in Belfast, and is married with two grown-up daughters. Now retired, and living in both Spain and Ireland, The Girl from Long Ago is his first novel, and Gordon was delighted to receive his trophy from actress Amanda Burton, who also read short excerpts from both the winning stories.

James Andrew, a poet from Inverness who was shortlisted in this competition for his first novel Inescapable, has since been offered a contract with another publisher.

Short Story

The competition theme was Conquest and entrants submitted up to 2,000 words. The judge was Amanda Saint of Retreat West. Prizes were presented by Amanda Burton.

First place: Game – Stephanie Percival

Stephanie’s prize was a £200 voucher to be used for any of Retreat West’s courses, critiques or retreats, plus a Hastings LitFest short story trophy, and a Guest Pass to the whole of Hastings LitFest 2019.

Second Place: No Batteries – Mykel Flynn

Mykel received a selection of books signed by authors appearing at the 2018 LitFest, plus a LitFest trophy and a place on any workshop of his choice at Hastings LitFest 2019.

Highly Commended

The House Always Wins – Joe Bedford

Joe was presented with a Hastings LitFest trophy and a selection of books signed by authors appearing at this year’s LitFest.

Hastings Litfest/HUFC Sports Journalism competition

There were two age categories for this competition.

Over 18s Winner: Fathers and Sons – Four Generations of Supporting Palace, by Steve Amos

Under 18s

First place: Badger-Bludgeoning Blues Profit at Priory – Will Hugall

Second place: The Reds get The Blues – Matt Gittleson

Highly Commended: The Great Escape: Crystal Palace –v- Leicester City – Ben Amos

Thank you to everyone who entered.