2023 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize accepting entries till June 30

The 2023 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is open for submissions from 27 January until 30 June 2023, 5 pm BST. 

The organisers say that the prize, which is exceptionally international in scope, supports writers who have not yet published a book-length work, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. 

With an entry fee of £10 for a single entry, £16 for a double entry, and £6 for a single subsidised entry, winners of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication, and will be published in Wasafiri’s print magazine. 

Shortlisted writers will have their work published on Wasafiri’s website. All 15 shortlistees and winners will also be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility), and a conversation with Nikesh Shukla of The Good Literary Agency to discuss their career progression.   

Every writer recognised by the prize, running since 2009, remains part of the Wasafiri community, and is supported by the magazine as their career grows. Past winners and shortlistees have gone on to score deals with major international publishing houses such as Verso, Peepal Tree Press, and HarperCollins India, and to be shortlisted for and win prizes including the T S Eliot, Ambit Short Fiction, and Bocas Poetry Prize, among very many others. 

This year, the prize will be chaired by literary leading light Diana Evans. Diana will be joined by a truly remarkable panel of multi-award-winning poets and authors. 

Fiction judge, Leila Aboulela says “Wasafiri has always been ahead of its time in recognising the power of literature to capture global movements and interconnections. It will be exciting to read talented entries from all over the world and find out what is really going on behind the media’s attention-grabbing headlines!”. 

Caleb Femi, who is judging the 2023 poetry category, is himself a former shortlistee of the prize in the poetry category and says he is “excited to find strong new voices across a wide range of forms and worlds”. And finally, Aanchal Malhotra is looking forward to “reading pieces that are inventive and excavative, exploring the abundant landscape of Life Writing today” as a judge in that category.

For more on the terms and conditions and how to enter the prize, go to the prize’s website.  


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