Meet the judges

Anne Harrison

Anne Harrison is a New York based independent film producer. Her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Independent Spirit Awards and have premiered at the Venice Film festival, Tribeca Film Festival, the AFI Film Festival and Austin Film Festival. Anne started her career working with celebrated director Martin Scorsese on films such as Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence and the Oscar-nominated film, The Grifters. Most recently, Anne was a producer on the Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe nominated film, The Danish Girl.

For her next project, Anne will be working with Oscar nominated writer/director Debra Granik (Winter's Bone) who has written and will direct the feature adaptation of Peter Rock's celebrated novel, My Abandonment.

Dr. Lisa Tomlinson

Lisa Tomlinson, is a Jamaican researcher and scholar residing in Kingston, Jamaica. Her areas of specialization include literary and cultural studies of the Caribbean and African diaspora, Black literary criticism and anti-colonial studies. She holds a degree in English Literature from Carleton University and a PhD in Humanities (Comparative Perspective and Culture) with a graduate diploma in Latin America and Caribbean Studies.

Lisa has worked in tertiary institutions in Ontario, Canada where she taught courses in English literature, humanities, and visual culture. She is currently a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in the Department of Literatures in English. Some of her publications include book chapters in Jamaicans in the Canadian Experience: A Multicultralizing Presence, Archipelagos of Sound: Transnational Caribbeanities: Women and Music, Critical Insights: Harlem Renaissance, as well as encyclopedia entries in the Dictionary of Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Biography.

Margie Orford

Margie Orford is an internationally acclaimed writer. Her Clare Hart novels are published in the USA and the UK and have been widely translated into more than ten languages. She is an award-winning journalist. Apart from her fiction, she writes regularly about crime, gender violence, politics and freedom of expression, and literature. She has written a number of children’s books and several works of non-fiction on subjects ranging from climate change to rural development.

She was born in London, but grew up in Namibia and South Africa where she was educated at the University of Cape Town. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1999 and has Masters in Comparative Literature from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. She is a member of the executive board of PEN International, the president of PEN South Africa, the patron of Rape Crisis and of the children’s book charity, the Little Hands Trust.

Gina Otto

Gina Otto is the award-winning author of the #1 Best-selling children's book, Cassandra's Angel. An international speaker, producer, social entrepreneur, and children's advocate, Gina's career spans film, television, and fashion at Lucasfilm, NBC, CBS, and Viacom. She is currently the Founder/CEO of Gina's Ink, a global media company that creates mission-driven media and entertainment to empower children everywhere. A premiere piece of Gina's Ink is Change My World Now, a safe, unique social media platform designed and developed for children, to encourage their productivity, creativity and ability to undertake micro-actions towards changing the world for the better.

Kenneth Goh

Kenneth Goh is Editor-in-Chief of Harper's BAZAAR Singapore and has played an intrinsic role in the magazine's success during his 13-year tenure.

Kenneth's wide-spread media experience and reputation secured some of the most influential names in the entertainment and fashion industry for the covers of both Harper's BAZAAR Singapore and Malaysia. These include Victoria Beckham, Eva Longoria, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Janet Jackson, Chiara Ferragni, and Georgia May Jagger.

In addition, Kenneth has been a judge on Asia's Next Top Model for the past three seasons, returning this fourth consecutive season as both judge and Creative Fashion Advisor.

K.F. Breene

K.F. Breene is a USA Today Bestselling author of the Darkness and Warrior Chronicles series. She is an international bestseller with over 750,000 books sold. Recently, she split out her romance titles into the pen name Willow Summers and broke into the top 3 overall in iBooks. She lives in wine country with her husband and two kids, enjoying the sunshine and wine—not necessarily in that order. 

Michael Marckx

Michael was most recently the president/CEO of SPY Inc, which he resuscitated and transformed. Previously, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the Surfrider Foundation and was VP, Global Marketing with Globe International, VP Marketing and Creative Director with Ocean Pacific (Op) and Seven2. Michael was also VP Marketing and Entertainment with the Broadband Interactive Group (BIG), and a publisher with Primedia for The Surfing Group and other titles.

A frequent lecturer and presenter on marketing and branding, Marckx has written for a myriad publications and media outlets. A former amateur world champion and US National team member, Marckx has excelled as an athlete in several sports. Currently a Category 1 bicycle racer, he is also an avid surfer and musician. He is the founder of The Greener Blue and and The Belgian Waffle Ride, and currently serves on the boards of SUPERbrand, Modern Technocracy, San Diego Sports Innovators and Leucadia 101 Mainstreet. 

Michael lives in Leucadia, CA with his wife and two children, who love the ocean and music as much as he does.

Debra Langley

Debra Langley is an Executive Director at Blackrun Ventures, a non-traditional global investment group. In March 2016, Blackrun launched Half the World Holdings, an investment platform for its women-focused portfolio, and sponsor of the Half the World Global Literati Award.

Debra is also a mentor to emerging designers and a consultant at Coraggio, which provides advisory services to fashion and retail brands. Previously she was the founder of Inverted Edge, a retail platform for independent contemporary fashion designers; President, DKNY JEANS International for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe; and President-Asia for Borderlinx, a global e-commerce facilitator. Debra has held international development positions in Hong Kong and New York for The Economist Group and for Hearst Magazines. She was also a co-founder of an online wellness venture, and an early charitable donation site. 


All entries will be judged on a mixture of factors; concept and originality, structure and pacing, character development and dialogue, creative flair and commercial potential.

Our esteemed judges will be drawing on their expertise and experience to select the winner from our short-listed entries.

Entry submissions closed 11:59:59 pm of 8 June 2016, US Eastern Daylight Time. The shortlist was announced on 24 June 2016.

Our prize

The award comprises of 5 cash prizes - a US$50,000 overall prize, 3 US$1,000 prizes for best in category and 1 US$1,000 prize for most popular entry by audience vote. The main winner will also have an opportunity for a publishing or film production deal with our world-renowned partners

There are three categories:

  • Short Story - entries with 7,500 words or less
  • Novellas - 17,500 to 40,000 words and Novels - 40,000 words or more
  • Screenplay - for a movie or an episode of a television show

Women’s interests and passions are richly diverse. Our award accepts contributions from a broad range of genres to reflect that. Themes may range from autobiography to zombies and everything in between.

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.

Audre Lorde