Submissions are now open for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
An all-star literary line-up will feature on the 2020 Wasifiri New Writing Prize judging panel, tasked with awarding £1,000 each to the best new writers of fiction, life writing, and poetry.
From 15 January to 1 June 2020, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize will be receiving submissions from around the world. The competition is open to any writers who have not yet published a book-length work in their chosen genre, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or background. The grand prize of £1,000 is available in each category: Fiction, Life Writing, and Poetry.
In addition to the cash prize, winners and shortlisted writers may be eligible for a Chapter and Verse Award, courtesy of The Literary Consultancy, worth £2,000, or Free Reads mentoring, to support them as they grow their writing careers.
About the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
Wasafiri is the magazine for international contemporary writing, it encourages readers and writers to travel the world via the word. For over three decades, Wasifiri has created a dynamic platform for mapping new landscapes in contemporary international writing featuring a diverse range of voices from across the UK and beyond. Committed to profiling the ‘best of tomorrow’s writers today’ they simultaneously celebrate those who have become established literary voices, offering a creative space for dialogue and debate.
Since launching in 2009, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize has received entries from dozens of countries each year, and in 2019 the competition received a record-breaking number of entries.
Winning the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is an invaluable springboard for writers’ careers. Previous winners of the prize have gone on to publish with Verso, HarperCollins India, Smokestack Books, Peepal Tree Press, Bluemoose Books, and flipped eye.
Meet the judges
Kadija Sesay - Chair
Kadija Sesay is a PhD doctoral scholarship student researching Black British Publishers and Pan-Africanism; publisher of SABLE LitMag; Publications Manager for Inscribe/Peepal Tree; editor of several anthologies; published a poetry collection, Irki and co-founder of Mboka Festival in Gambia. Kadija has received awards and fellowships for work in the creative arts and her research and has judged several prizes.
Simon Prosser – Fiction
Publishing Director, Hamish Hamilton and Penguin Books, since 1997. Chair of the Civil Liberties Trust. Trustee of the Arts Foundation and the Future Library. Co-founder of the Port Eliot Festival and literary magazine Five Dials. Previously Social Sciences Publisher at Blackwell Publishers. Authors worked with include: Bernardine Evaristo, Marlon James, Zadie Smith, CLR James, Arundhati Roy, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Noam Chomsky, Yiyun Li, Mohsin Hamid, Ali Smith, Pat Barker, Susan Sontag, Kiran Desai, Helon Habila.
Aida Edemariam – Life Writing
Edemariam’s first book, The Wife’s Tale, was a finalist for a Governor General’s Literary Award and won both a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award and the 2019 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. She is also a senior feature writer and editor at The Guardian.
Raymond Antrobus - Poetry
The author of 'Shapes & Disfigurements', 'To Sweeten Bitter' and 'The Perseverance'. In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre. Other accolades include the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award & The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works 3 and Jerwood Compton. Raymond is a founding member of 'Chill Pill' and 'Keats House Poets Forum' and is an Ambassador for 'The Poetry School'.
For media information, contact:Paul Jordan
Faculty Communications Manager (HSS)