The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2019 is open for submissions in the categories of Fiction, Poetry, and Life Writing. The prize was launched ten years ago to support
The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2019 is open for submissions in the categories of Fiction, Poetry, and Life Writing. The prize was launched ten years ago to support new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality or background. In this birthday year we are excited to announce that we are increasing each prize sum from £300 to £1,000. This increased value means that the prize can make a more meaningful difference for the winning writers’ careers.
The winners of each category will be published by Wasafiri in print and online and receive a £1,000 cash prize. They will also be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility). The prize winners will be announced on 9 November 2019.
This year our judges include Louise Doughty, who will be judging the fiction, Warsan Shire, who will be judging the poetry, and Nikesh Shukla, who will be judging the life writing category. Wasafiri Editor-in-Chief Susheila Nasta will chair the judging panel.
Louise Doughty is the author of nine novels, including Apple Tree Yard (2013), which was a top ten bestseller and adapted for BBC Television. Her sixth novel, Whatever You Love (2010) is also being adapted and was nominated for the Costa Novel Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her work has been translated into thirty languages. Her most recent book is Platform Seven (2019).
Warsan Shire is an award winning writer. Her first collection Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth was published in 2011. She won the Inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2013, and in 2014 she was appointed as the first Young Poet Laureate for London. In 2015 she released a limited edition pamphlet ‘Her Blue Body’ and in 2016 she did the film adaptation and poetry for the visual album Lemonade. In 2017 she was included as part of the Penguin Modern Poets series alongside Sharon Olds and Malika Booker.
Nikesh Shukla is the author of three novels. The One Who Wrote Destiny was published in Spring 2018. His debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010. His second novel Meatspace was released to critical acclaim in 2014. Nikesh is a columnist for the Observer and has written for several publications including the Guardian and the Independent. He is the editor of the bestselling essay collection and the co-founder of the literary journal The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency.