Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize partners with The Good Literary Agency

By Wasafiri Editor on April 24, 2020 in

We’re delighted to announce an additional prize that will be awarded to this year’s Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize shortlist. Nikesh Shukla, on behalf of The Good Literary Agency, will be reading the fifteen shortlisted entries and will speak individually with each writer to discuss their work, their career progression, and how to get their work ready for submission to literary agencies. This is a fantastic opportunity for new writers to receive tailored advice and support from this renowned author, editor, and agency founder – and judge of our 2019 prize.

We are very proud of our ongoing partnership with The Literary Consultancy, who offer a Chapter and Verse mentorship and Free Reads to eligible members of the shortlist each year. This new partnership with The Good Literary Agency adds another rich resource to the suite of support that the prize offers to its shortlisted writers.

The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is a global prize for new fiction, life writing, and poetry that has been helping to launch writing careers for over a decade. With a prize of £1,000 each for the three winners, it was already one of the most generous awards for new writers, making a real difference to their careers. 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.

This year our judges include Penguin editor Simon Prosser, judging fiction, Guardian journalist Aida Edemariam, judging life writing, and award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus judging poetry. Publisher and poet Kadija Sesay is chairing the judging panel.


One of the many impacts of COVID-19 has been on writers’ schedules and headspace. We are acknowledging this by extending the deadline for our new writing prize. If you want to enter the prize, we want you to be able to; if you’ve been struggling to write or to find time, we hope the extra fortnight might ease the pressure. The new closing date of the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is 15 June 2020 at 17:00 BST. You can read the full entry guidelines and enter here.