The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

The 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri  New Writing Prize is now closed. Thank you for your interest. Congratulations to all shortlisted writers — you can read more about the shortlist and the judges comments here.

The winners will be announced on 19 October; follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear. We will open again in January 2023 for next year’s prize.


Exceptionally international in scope, the prize supports writers who have not yet published a book-length work, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The 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 Wasafiris website. All fifteen 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 is chaired by literary leading light Marina Salandy-Brown, who says, ‘I am delighted and honoured to be judging this important prize’. Marina is joined by a truly remarkable panel of multi-award-winning poets and authors. Mary Jean Chan, judging poetry, remarks that ‘the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize has always caught my attention for its focus on discovering, supporting and mentoring emerging talent across multiple genres. Judging Fiction, Preti Taneja is looking for work that ‘feels fully arrived in terms of its thematic ambition, its use of language and its confidence in its own voice. And finally, Francesca Wade, on judging Life Writing, says that ‘Wasafiri has long been a brilliant home for innovative work.  I’m excited to read pieces that explore and interrogate – the myriad possibilities of life-writing today.

Mary Jean Chan, Francesca Wade (credit Eleni Stefanou), Preti Taneja (credit Rory O’Bryen), Marina Salandy-Brown


 

 

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