Bad Form, the quarterly literary review magazine, is launching a new prize for young black, Asian, Arab and other non-white fiction writers based in the UK, with support from across the publishing industry.
The Bad Form Young Writers’ Prize is intended to help provide practical support to British authors from underrepresented backgrounds, helping them to break into the business.
The winner of the prize will receive one-to-one meetings with agent Catherine Cho of the Madeleine Milburn Agency, publisher Joel Richardson of Michael Joseph, and author Okechukwu Nzelu of The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney (Dialogue Books).
Richardson said: "I’m so thrilled to be involved in this prize. For too long all of us in publishing have been too slow to address our lack of diversity, and I also know that the industry can be mystifying from the outside, so I’d love to help support the brilliant writers of the future as they launch their careers."
The winner will also receive a package of books by black, Asian and non-white authors from publishers including Picador, Myriad Editions, Michael Joseph, Penguin Press, Silver Press, Pushkin Press, and Hashtag Press.
The prize includes tickets to writing events of Writing Our Legacy, an organisation working to raise awareness of the contributions of black and ethnic minority writers, poets, playwrights and authors born, living or connected to Sussex and the south-east. This has been organised by Myriad Editions and a shortlisted writer will also receive tickets to the Writing Our Legacy events, and receive meetings with Elaine Chiew, author of The Heartsick Diaspora (Myriad Editions) and Umi Sinha, author of Belonging (Myriad Editions).
Submissions are now open (from 15th June) and close at 11.59 p.m. on Monday 6th July.
Bad Form was set up last year to platform black, Asian, Arab and non-white writers. In 2016, fewer than 100 books by British BAME authors were published.
Amy Baxter, editor of Bad Form, commented: "We’re so thrilled to be able to use our contacts in the British publishing industry to support the work of young, underrepresented writers in such a practical way. These past few weeks have seen a sudden shift in the industry, and I hope that this is a sign of long-term change to come."