Meet Our Judges

MARTIN ALEXANDER was born in Benghazi, grew up in Peru and lived for many years in Hong Kong. He is Editor in Chief of the Asia Literary Review and was a trustee of the UK’s Poetry Society from 2010-2013.

Martin’s poetry, short stories and travel writing have been widely published. He won the South China Morning Post Short Story Competition in 1999 and his poetry collection, Clearing Ground, was published by Chameleon Press in 2004. In 2009 he was awarded the Orient-Occident International Grand Prix for Poetry.

Martin has been a featured writer and moderator at literary events and festivals in Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, London and Romania.


PETE SPURRIER left London to travel east along the Silk Road in 1991, and two years later he arrived in Hong Kong. In the years since then, he has written three bestselling guidebooks, edited a monthly magazine and contributed stories to anthologies, newspapers and other publications.

Now, he compiles a weekly edutainment newspaper for pre-teens and also runs a local publishing house called Blacksmith Books.

Photograph of Pete Spurrier

SARAH BRENNAN was born in Tasmania, Australia, and spent her childhood writing poetry, exploring bushland, caring for a menagerie of exotic animals and playing the Scottish bagpipes! After attending university in Brisbane and practicing for ten years as a medical lawyer in London, she moved to Hong Kong in 1998, where she became a much-loved children’s author and publisher, bringing Chinese history and culture to children through her funny and educational stories. She is passionate about children’s literacy and speaks regularly in schools and at conferences about the importance of reading books in the digital age from the scientific perspective. In addition, for the last 11 years she has run regular international story-writing and poetry competitions for primary school students on her blog at

Sarah is the author of the best-selling Chinese Calendar Tales and the Dirty Story series for primary school aged kids, illustrated by the human rights award-winning cartoonist Harry Harrison; the highly acclaimed children’s picture book Storm Whale, illustrated by award-winning Australian artist Jane Tanner, and Dummies for Mummies, a tongue in cheek guide for mothers navigating the perils of child-rearing in Hong Kong. Her first chapter book for pre-teens, The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah, will be published by Blacksmith Books in November.

Sarah has a French husband and two daughters, and lives in Hong Kong’s New Territories beside a subtropical nature reserve, visiting schools in Hong Kong, China, South East Asia, Australia and the UK on a regular basis. 

Photograph of Sarah Brennan
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