The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2017 is now closed for entries.

We are currently reading through the submissions and will post updates on this page and social media.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s judges are…

Susheila Nasta MBE (Chair) Founding Editor of Wasafiri and Emeritus Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University.

Sabrina Mahfouz Award-winning poet, playwright and screenwriter and former Sky Arts Scholar for Poetry, Mahfouz’s work has been performed in the UK and the US

Andrea Stuart Writer and historian, author of Showgirls which was adapted for stage and screen, and the award-winning The Rose of Martinique: A Biography of Napoleon’s Josephine

Boyd Tonkin World renowned writer and journalist, currently Writer and Art Critic at The Independent and Chair of the Man Booker Prize

Background to the prize:

The path to literary success can sometimes seem elusive, even for those with talent. So, in 2009, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize was launched to support new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality or background. With a list of high profile judges over the years including Brian Chikwava, Colin Grant, Maya Jaggi, Jackie Kay, Tabish Khair, Toby Litt and Blake Morrison, the NWP has boosted the confidence of writers in competitive times. In the words of one winner: ‘Before I was shortlisted I was … convinced I was never going to write another poem again .. thank you so much for this, I never … want to stop writing.’

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2017 is open for entries!

We welcome submissions in one of three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing (the competition is open to anyone who has not published a complete book in the category entered).

'Before I was shortlisted I was ... convinced I was never going to write another poem again .. thank you so much for this, I never ... want to stop writing.' Amaal Said


NWP 2016

New Writing Prize 2016

The 2016 Wasafiri New Writing Prize winners and shortlist Winners: Niamh MacCabe for Nobody Knows the Shivering Stars (Fiction) Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné for Portrait of my father as a grouper (Poetry) Shiva Rahbaran for Massoumeh: An Iranian Family in Times of Revolution (Life Writing) In addition to…


New Writing Prize 2015

The 2015 Wasafiri New Writing Prize winners and shortlist Winners: Uschi Gatward for My Brother is Back (Fiction) Amaal Said for The Girl Grew (Poetry) Louise Kennedy for A Suitable Family (Life Writing) In addition, the following three entrants were given special commendations: Akwaeke Emezi for ‘W…


New Writing Prize 2014

The winners and shortlisted entries There are four winners this year, two of the poems being too close to call. Our congratulations go to: Fiction: The Bearer by Simon van der Velde (UK)  Life Writing:  Seeing Double by Aurvi Sharma (USA) Poetry: Dot by dot of hurt by Pnina Shinebourne (UK) and Firs…


New Writing Prize 2013

Winners: Life Writing  Cliff Chen for Life Exchanges Poetry Anita Pati for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Stealing Love Fiction Gita Ralleigh for Back at the Museum The winning entries were published in Issue 77 of Wasafiri in February 2014. Shortlist: Life Writing Tool by Mat Woolfenden S…


New Writing Prize 2012

At a special event at Asia House on Wednesday 3 October, John Haynes announced the winners of the 2012 Wasafiri New Writing Prize: David Houston for Wish You Were Here (Life Writing) C S Mee for The Walk (Fiction) Sally St Clair for In the Beginning and the End (Poetry) The winning entries are publi…

NWP 2011

New Writing Prize 2011

The winners of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2011 were announced by Fiction judge Brian Chikwava at a special event at Bush House in London. Winners: Richard Scott for Adin (Poetry) Michael Marett-Crosby for Room 618 (Fiction) Abeer Hoque for’ On Growing (Life Writing) The winning entries are publi…

NWP 2010

New Writing Prize 2010

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2010 Winners and Shortlist The winners of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize were announced at a special event on October 14, at Somerset House, London. There were four winners this year: Noel Williams for ‘The Anthropology of Loss’ (Poetry) Barabara Jenkins for ‘It’s Cher…

NWP 2009

New Writing Prize 2009

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2009 Winners and Shortlist The winners of Wasafiri’s prize for new writing were announced by poet and prize judge, Mimi Khalvati, on the 31st October in front of packed audience at the Purcell Room, South Bank, London. Ola Awonubi for ‘The Go Slow Journey’ (Fiction) Ro…



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