Deborah Rogers foundation and prize founded

Deborah Rogers foundation and prize founded

A foundation has been set up in memory of the late literary agent and chair of Rogers, Coleridge and White, Deborah Rogers.

The Deborah Rogers Foundation, whose members include authors William Fiennes and Ian McEwan, launches with a new Writers' Award.

Rogers died in May.

Her "genius lay in identifying and supporting talented young people", said the foundation, whose aims are to seek out and nurture new talent.

The £10,000 Writers' Award is a for a first-time author "whose work demonstrates literary talent but who needs financial support to complete their first book". The work can be fiction, non-fiction and short stories but poetry is not eligible.

To be eligible, writers - who must reside within the British Commonwealth and Eire and whose work must be written in the English language - are required to submit a minimum 20-30,000 words of "literary merit".

The closing date for submissions is 31st January 2016 and the inaugural Writers’ Award will be presented in summer 2016 at Hay Festival.

McEwan, who was Rogers' client for almost 40 years, will celebrate the winner with a discussion and reading from the winning manuscript.

The board of the foundation is chaired by Lord Berkeley of Knighton, Rogers' widower. The directors are Rogers' RCW colleagues Gill Coleridge and Peter Straus, Four Colman Getty c.e.o Dotti Irving, and Tamsin Eastwood.

Joining McEwan and Fiennes as members of the foundation are RCW literary agent David Miller as secretary, Vintage Publishing m.d. Richard Cable, former Bloomsbury editorial director Liz Calder, Virago Press founder Carmen Callil, Hay Festival director Peter Florence, Profile m.d. Andrew Franklin, Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page, and Penguin Random House chair Baroness Rebuck.

Coleridge said: "Deborah was both a dear friend and an inspirational colleague to all at RCW. She had impeccable taste and a generous heart, and one of her most endearing characteristics was the interest and support she gave to new writers, wherever they came from. The inauguration of the Deborah Rogers Foundation is the means to ensure that her legacy to the publishing world will be continued and the Writers’ Award will adopt precisely the same approach to first-time writers as Deborah did in person.

“With Michael Berkeley as our chairman and an enthusiastic board  drawn from her own clients as well as publishing friends we are all excited at who we may discover and the help we can give to their careers in Deborah's name”.

Submissions for the Writers' Award should be made via www.deborahrogersfoundation.org.