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Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

The 2024 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, the fifteenth edition of the prestigious prize, is closed for entries.

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About the Prize

Since its inception, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize has awarded some of the most exciting new voices in life writing, poetry, and fiction from around the world.

Launched to commemorate the magazine's 25th anniversary, the Prize has been recognising excellence in fiction, life writing, and poetry for fifteen years. The prize is named in honour of our partnership with Queen Mary, University of London, a collaboration that reflects a shared commitment to nurturing literary voices and communities.

Representing more of the globe than any other prize of its kind, the prize supports writers who have not published book-length works, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The winners of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication in Wasafiri. All winners and shortlisted writers will be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility), and a conversation with The Good Literary Agency to discuss their career progression, as well as a one-year print subscription to Wasafiri.

Past winners and Shortlistees

Past winners and shortlistees of the New Writing Prize include the likes of Akwaeke Emezi, Caleb Femi, and Louise Kennedy, who have gone on to score deals with major international publishing houses such as Penguin, Peepal Tree Press, Bloomsbury and Hachette, and to be shortlisted for and win prizes including the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Forward Prizes, and the Bocas Poetry Prize, among many others. 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. 

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