The founder of children's fiction production company Storymix Jasmine Richards (pictured) is the guest judge at this year's FAB Prize, for undiscovered writers and illustrators from underrepresented backgrounds.
Launched by Faber and the Andlyn Literary Agency and now in its fifth year, the prize aims to discover and showcase new talent, and is open for submissions from aspiring authors and illustrators.
The entries will be judged by Richards, who is also an author, former publisher and screenwriter, alongside Faber publisher Leah Thaxton, Andlyn literary agent Davinia Andrew-Lynch, Faber creative director Donna Payne, and Faber children’s art director Emma Eldridge.
The winning illustrator will receive £500, a one-year portfolio membership from the Association of Illustrators worth £200, a place on the Insights into the Publishing Process programme, and the opportunity to shadow already established illustrators on school visits, arranged and funded by BookTrust.
First prize for authors includes £500, a free place on an online Faber Academy writing course, a place on the same publishing five-part programme, in addition to the opportunity to shadown established authors on school visits.
Those awarded second prize receive a place on the Insight into the Publishing Process programme, plus a selection of Faber books. All commended, highly commended, runners-up and winners will get priority spaces on BookTrust Represent workshops.
Commenting on the prize, Richards said: "Publishing as a whole is working hard to make the industry a more inclusive and equal space, which means offering equality of opportunity for all writers and illustrators. The FAB Prize gives a platform to talent, but it has also demonstrated tangible results in terms of book deals and agent representation for those creatives that have shared their work. I am delighted to be part of the judging panel and am excited to see what stories and characters we’ll get to discover this year."
Thaxton added: "This year I’m delighted to see Jasmine Richards join us as a guest judge; she has a wealth of publishing experience. We’ve hit a five-year anniversary and have loved celebrating so much talent through the years. Thirty-seven FAB alumni now have agents, many have book deals, so YES, we’re coming back for more."
Last year’s winners and runners-up, Mariesa Dulak, Ngadi Smart, Janelle McCurdy and Akhran Girmay, are all to be published by Faber over 2021–2022.
The prize is supported by the BookTrust and the AOI, which offer opportunities to FAB Prize entrants. Since the launch of the prize's website last year, a hub for aspiring writers, illustrators and publishing professionals, Ama Badu, website editor, has interviewed creatives such as Costa Debut Novel-winner Ingrid Persaud, Nikita Gill, Kereen Getten and Dapo Adeola.
The competition closes for entries on Friday 4th June. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony in October.