Jhalak Prize reveals 2021 longlists

Jhalak Prize reveals 2021 longlists

The Jhalak Prize has revealed its longlist for the annual prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour, alongside its inaugural longlist for the Children’s & Young Adult Prize.

Now in its fifth year, the prize is worth £1,000 to each winner and the 2021 longlists feature titles from Caleb Femi, Paul Mendez, Catherine Cho, Alex Wheatle and Kiran Millwood Hargrave among others.

The Book of the Year longlist includes Antiemetic for Homesickness by Romalyn Ante (Chatto Poetry), Inferno by Catherine Cho (Bloomsbury Circus), [re: desire] by Afshan D’souza-Lodhi (Burning Eye Books), Poor by Caleb Femi (Penguin Poetry), A More Perfect Union by Tammye Huf (Myriad Editions) and My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long (Picador Poetry).

Also on the list are The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (One World), The Address Book by Deirdre Mask (Profile Books), Are We Home Yet? By Katy Massey (Jacaranda), Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez (Dialogue), The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Picador) and What’s Left of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott (Weidenfeld & Nicholson).

The longlist for the Children’s & Young Adult Prize includes Too Small Tola by Atinuke & Onyinye Iwu (Walker), The GA Picture Alphabet by Nii Ayikwei Parkes & Avril Filomeno (self-published), The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook (Nosy Crow), When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten (Pushkin Press), Baby Girl by Emma Hill (self-published), plus And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawondo (Simon & Schuster).

Also on the longlist are Queen of Freedom by Catherine Johnson (Pushkin Press), The Little War Cat by Hiba Noor Khan & Laura Chamberlain (Macmillan Children’s), Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence (Hachette Children’s), Mohinder’s War by Bali Rai (Bloomsbury Education), A Rabbit Called Herbert by Margaret Sturton (Andersen Press) and Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle (Andersen Press)

Prize director Sunny Singh said: “Despite the pandemic and the grim past year, we received a record number of submissions, nearly a third more than in 2020. There are more books by writers of colour being published and more importantly more of these are being published well. Although this is not a moment for complacency, especially since the pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities — and writers — of colour, there is much reason to celebrate. And celebrate we must, and shall!”

The shortlist for both awards will be announced on 13th April 2021 before the winners are crowned on 25th May in partnership with the British Library.

The two Jhalak Prize awards celebrate writing by British/British resident BAME writers and annually award £1,000 to two winners. The winners will also receive a unique work of art created for the prize by artists of colour under the Jhalak Art Residency.

Judges for the 2021 Prize for Book of the Year are authors Yvonne Battle-Felton, Louise Doughty and Peter Kalu. The Children’s & Young Adult Prize will be judged by writers Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Candy Gourlay.

Alongside a recently announced partnership with National Book Tokens, 2021 also sees the expansion of the annual Jhalak Art Residency. The annual Jhalak Art Resident commissions an artist of colour to create a unique work of art that serves as the trophy for the winner of the Jhalak Book of the Year award. In 2021, the expanded residency will also feature the first ever illustrator to create a unique trophy for the Jhalak Children’s and Young Adult prize. The artist and illustrator selected this year will be announced on 16th March.