Avon has joined forces with agent Silé Edwards (pictured) at Mushens Entertainment for a competition to find a new commercial writer of colour, with the winner handed a two-book deal.
Launching on 11th January, the contest will be accepting submissions from unagented, unpublished writers of colour across the UK, and the winner will receive a deal with the HarperCollins division, a grant to support their writing career, and representation from Mushens Entertainment.
The competition, Avon x Mushens Entertainment Prize: For commercial fiction writers of colour, is open to writers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are writing a commercial novel, whether in the crime, thriller, women’s fiction or historical genre.
A winner of the competition will be selected by senior commissioning editor Tilda McDonald, Edwards and guest judge, author Imran Mahmood.
Edwards said: “I am so thrilled to be working with Avon and Imran on this and I hope to find some really talented authors. There are so many brilliant writers of colour who have been underrepresented in the commercial fiction space, and I hope that this competition will help more mainstream publishers find them and publish their work. I can’t wait to read all the entries. I already know we will have excellent stories to choose from.”
McDonald added: “Avon are proud to work with Silé Edwards and Imran Mahmood to find and publish an exciting new talent. The publishing industry has a lot of work to do to redress the underrepresentation of writers of colour, especially in commercial fiction, and this is just one of the steps Avon are taking. We hope the competition will be a valuable opportunity not only for the winner, but also for the longlisted writers, whom we’ll be inviting to a seminar to demystify the industry and offer advice on how to break into it. We can’t wait to read everyone’s entries.”
Submissions will be open from 11th January to 28th February, with a longlisted selection being invited to an online seminar with editors and judges in the spring, after which the shortlist will be selected and shortlistees asked to send in their full manuscripts, with a winner being announced in the autumn. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Avon website or on the Mushens Entertainment website.