Ink Tears Short Story Competition Judge


Joanna is one of the judges, along with fellow writers, Hannah Persaud and Melanie Whipman, for the 2018 Ink Tears Short Story Competition.

A Short Affair

Joanna's shortlisted story from the 2017 Royal Academy Pin Drop competition, Brad's Rooster Food, will be published in this anthology from Simon and Schuster.

24 Stories of Hope for Survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire

Joanna's story, 'Nearly There', was chosen for this anthology, edited by Kathy Burke, all proceeds of which will help survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.

Stroud Short Stories May 2018

Joanna read her story, The Journey To Everywhere, at the May 2018 Stroud Short Stories event. An anthology of stories from this hugely popular twice-yearly event will be published later in 2018.

Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2018

Judge, Izzy Robertson said of Joanna's winning story, 'My Name is Jennifer' is a period piece set in World War II. Joanna places us effortlessly in the narrator's world; Jennifer's voice is clear and direct and leads us through a multi layered tale of everyday horrors and courage in adversity with no frills or extraneous embellishments. The characterisation is skilled, with terrific attention to detail. Clever and consistent use of a colloquial style with unusual and vivid description keeps the pace beautifully even and some unexpected twists are masterfully accomplished. Although I was reading, it felt more as though I was listening to Jennifer speaking. This will have you well and truly hooked and you won't be able to help cheering quietly for the heroine at the end. An outstanding piece of writing and a very worthy winner.

The Bridport Prize 2017

Joanna's flash fiction piece, Confirmation Class, came second in the Bridport Prize 2017. Judge Kit de Waal said in her report: Such voice. 'They say me mam's a slack knitter.' How's that for an insult? The humour in this story is offset by the darkness, by the suspicion of child abuse all overlaid with 'God's approval.' The child's point of view is the perfect one for this type of story. Well crafted. Well told.

Retreat West Short Story Prize 2017

Joanna's short story, What Was Left, provides the title for this anthology from Retreat West's 2016 short story competition, to be launched on September 7th 2017 at Waterstones in Reading.

Retreat West Flash Fiction Win

Summer 1976 wins Retreat West's Flash Fiction competition. Click on the image if you would like to read it.


The judge said:

Loved the imagery, especially the cottage loaf stomach, and the vividness of the closing paragraphs both visually and in the self-realisation for the character.

May 2017 Flash Fiction Event, Bath

Reading flash fiction at the Bath Flash Fiction event in St Jame's' Vaults, Bath.

The Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash Award

Joanna's novella, A Safer Way to Fall, created from flash fiction pieces, is runner-up in the 2017 Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash Award.


It is published in How to Make a Window Snake, which contains the two runners-up with the winning entry. Here is the judge's comment on Joanna's novella:


In the ambitious A Safer Way to Fall by Joanna Campbell, stakes are high and violence (both large and small) become a companion more trustworthy than peace. One realises that there is simply is no safe way to fall.

The 2017 Exeter Story Prize

Joanna's story, Much, has been placed second in the 2017 Exeter Story Prize. Here is the judge's comment:


Much by Joanna Campbell
A rainy day, a moment's inattention crossing the road on the way to school, and Graham lets go of his young sister's hand. What ensues forms the basis of this powerful, moving, but ultimately uplifting story. We all took Graham and his father into our hearts, such was the attention to detail, exquisite writing and the author's skill at revealing her characters so delicately.

The Royal Academy Pin Drop Short Story Award 2017

The Pin Drop event at the Royal Academy in June 2017, where Joanna's story, Brad's Rooster Food, was among the shortlist of twelve.

Stroud Short Stories, May 2017

Joanna reading her short story, Paper Sails, at the Stroud Short Stories event, May 2017

The RA Pin Drop Short Story Award 2017

Joanna's short story, Brad's Rooster Food, has reached the shortlist of the Royal Academy Pin Drop Short Story Award

The Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017

When Planets Slip Their Tracks is on the long list for The Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017, 'the only UK award to recognise excellence in a single author, published short story collection.'

The Rubery Book Award 2016


'When Planets Slip Their Tracks' is shortlisted in the Fiction and Short Fiction category of the Rubery Book Award.

Here are the judges' comments:


When Planets Slip their Tracks - Joanna Campbell: These short stories, several of which end with a smart twist, are superbly written and populated with strong characters and fine, small details. She creates real people – she is especially good with US teenagers, as in the title story where the protagonist, who has learning difficulties, is pregnant and abandoned – and demonstrates genuine compassion for ordinary people, those whose great skill when confronted with a hostile world is to pretend that all is well.

Finchley Literary Festival

Joanna was invited to be the judge for the 2016 Greenacre Writers and Finchley Literary Festival's short story competition. She also gave a presentation about her writing career, her experiences of living in Germany, which sowed the seeds for her novel and her thoughts about the power of the short story.

Writers Research Riot

Joanna discussed research in fiction writing in a panel with author, Alan Bilton, and poet, AnnaLewis, at the University of Cheltenham. This was followed by an evening of readings from the panel and students from the Creative Writing course. Joanna read from her short story collection, 'When Planets Slip Their Tracks' and all the authors signed copies of their books to students, staff and guests.

The London Short Story Prize

On November 4th 2015, Joanna's story, Upshots, was announced the winner of the London Short Story Prize. Here she is at the event organised by the writer agency, Spread the Word, in Waterstones, Piccadilly. From left to right: Joanna, the three judges - author Jon McGregor, literary agent Elise Dillsworth and author Kevin Barry - and highly commended writers James Woolf and Kerry Barner.


Upshots will feature in an anthology of stories from the competition to be published in 2016.


 Here is Joanna's feedback from the judges:   


 Jon McGregor:


'Upshots' was a real treat to read. There's a confident use of voice and perspective 
which pulls the reader through the story with tremendous energy. The disjunction 
between the way the narrator sees the  world and the way the reader understands the world to be is well-handled and subtle; and is then put to good use in a lovely sleight of hand towards the end. 
Technically accomplished, and a very worthy winner.

Kevin Barry:


Here is a story that proceeds line by line on the sheer intensity of its linguistic invention. Very quickly, inside a couple of pages, its sentences succeed in building a world. The language is an uncannily successful blend of a rhythmic dialect and a tightly controlled prose that combine to bring this world alive on the page. The dialogue sings, and the action is expertly depicted. The plot, meanwhile, keeps us thoroughly unsure of our footing, and takes us in unexpected directions. There is a delicious blend of light and shade in this story, and I don’t think there’s a single wrong note in it.

 Elise Dillsworth:


Engagingly told story of a family bound by secrets and how an action done with the best of intentions narrowly misses the worst of outcomes. A heart-stopping moment of revelation in a story that is nicely paced and coloured with humour and sharp insights. The writing manages to convey depth without overstatement and the rich use of language and sense of place makes for a deeply evocative and rewarding read.       

Launch of Tying Down The Lion at Waterstones, Bath

It is 1967 and the Bishop family are driving away from their suburban home in Oaking. Their destination - a city of broken people and ghostly deserted railway-stations; a city sliced in two by a concrete wall - this is Cold War Berlin. 


Grandma Nell is afraid of foreigners, especially German daughter-in-law Bridget, and apprehensive about son Roy's driving skills, not to mention his battered Morris Traveller. While granddaughter Jacqueline narrates the events of the journey, she changes her perceptions of the family - and herself - after a shocking spillage of secrets.


When she and her mother cross the border into the bleak and watchful East Berlin, will the experience unite them, or drive them further apart? 


This is the Cold War without spies. It is the story of an ordinary family in an extraordinary situation, and the discovery of how something divided can be more revealing than a perfect whole. For a family who build walls in their minds as they try to discover where they belong, this is a quest to find home. 

On July 9th 2015, Tying Down The Lion was launched at an event in Waterstones in beautiful Bath.

Joanna read extracts, talked about her path to publication and here she is signing copies.

It was an inspirational evening, enjoyed by all who came and cleared the entire stock of Tying Down The Lion from the store!