Place Writing Award Shortlist

The Place Writing Award supports writers with a practice focused on writing about the spirit of place.⁠ Meet the Shortlist:


Phoebe Boswell

Writing acts as confidante, explorer and archivist within Phoebe Boswell’s expansive and interdisciplinary practice. Underpinned by a porous, diasporic consciousness, her work explores notions of home – freedom, protest, grief, intimacy, migration, love, the body and its world-making.

Aida Edemariam

Aida Edemariam began her writing life with book reviews and especially long profiles of major writers. Her first book, The Wife’s Tale is structured according to the Ethiopian agricultural and Orthodox year, and is told in a free indirect third person and uses techniques — an occluded, deliberately female point of view; voice, characterisation — usually found in novels.

Gaia Holmes

Gaia Holmes is a writer and author of three poetry collections, Dr James Graham’s Celestial Bed, Lifting The Piano With One Hand and Where The Road Runs Out – which charts the story of Gaia’s journey to Orkney to provide emotional and palliative care for her father.

Saira Niazi

Saira Niazi is a London-based writer, renegade guide and founder of the Living London project. Niazi self-published a collection of personal essays entitled, Belonging: Reflections of a Renegade Guide, exploring themes of exploration, love, faith, transience, mental health and being a woman of colour.


The recipient of the Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2023 for Place Writing receives a £10,000 Fellowship, and shortlisted artists receive £1,000.⁠

Many thanks to our independent Place Writing Jury, Claire Armitstead, Anita Sethi and Eric Ngalle Charles, who said:

“Being on the jury of the Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2023 for Place Writing was the highlight of my year. I was given a chance to peep into the future of place writing and was blown away by what I saw. The future of place writing is in safe hands.”

The recipient of the £10,000 Arts Foundation Fellowship will be revealed at an Awards Ceremony on Thursday 23 February 2023, with all Shortlisted Artists receiving £1,000. Presented in partnership with Leeds 2023!