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Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize: Open for Submissions

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize: Open for Submissions

From 15th January to 1st June 2020, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize will be receiving submissions from around the world. Writers who haven’t yet published a book-length work in their chosen genre can enter, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or background, in hopes of winning the £1,000 prize in each category: Fiction, Life Writing, Poetry.

As well as the cash prize, winners and shortlisted writers may be eligible for a Chapter and Verse award, courtesy of The Literary Consultancy (TLC), worth £2,000, or Free Reads mentoring, to support them as they grow and develop their work.

In 2020, the prize has another stellar line-up of judges: Penguin editor Simon Prosser (Fiction), journalist Ada Edemariam (Life Writing), and award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus (Poetry). The prize is chaired by publisher and poet Kadija Sesay.

Since launching in 2009, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize – which turned ten last year – has received entries from dozens of countries each year. Previous winners of the prize have later published with Verso, HarperCollins India, Smokestack Books, Peepal Tree Press, Bluemoose Books, and flipped eye. They have gone on to win or be shortlisted for prizes including the Poetry London competition, the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize, The White Review Short Story Prize, Ambit Short Fiction, OCM Bocas Poetry Prize, the Edge Hill Prize, and the Guyana Prize for Literature. Winning the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is an invaluable springboard for writers’ careers.

For us at Wasafiri, the prize is a wonderful way to discover and support new voices from around the world. Winners, shortlistees and entrants have gone on to write for us and sustain a relationship with the magazine. We look forward to the new words, and worlds this year’s entries will bring.

Submit to the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. The prize closes at 5 PM BST on 1st June, 2020. 

Read the 2019 winning entries in FictionLife Writing, and Poetry

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Staffed by a team of international Black female and non-binary writers, penning crucial and critical commentary at the intersection of race and gender.

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