Independent publisher Joffe Books is partnering with author Dorothy Koomson (pictured) and literary agent Susan Yearwood, to launch a writing prize for unagented crime writers of colour.
The competition aims to champion authors from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, who are particularly underrepresented in crime fiction publishing, and is open to debut, previously published or self-published writers. The winner of the prize will join Joffe Books' list, and receive a two-book publishing contract.
Commenting on the prize, Koomson said: “I think crime fiction in all its glory could really benefit from more stories by traditionally underrepresented writers out there. This competition is one way of doing that. I’m so excited to be a judge on this and can’t wait to read the submissions.”
Yearwood added: “Joffe Books is one of the most innovative and inclusive-thinking digital publishers in publishing today and I am pleased to be asked to judge Joffe’s inaugural competition to find a great crime writer. I have long been a fan of Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers in this genre and I look forward to meeting big talent in crime writing.”
Emma Grundy Haigh of Joffe Books said: “We are very excited to launch this competition. If we are to create meaningful, long-lasting change within our industry, it is not enough to claim to have an open-door policy. It is our responsibility to actively seek out writers from communities that are underrepresented in our genre and support them in building sustainable careers. I can’t wait to discover the fantastic writers that enter this competition and get their work to the hands of readers.”
Entrants are invited to submit their full-length manuscript, written in English, along with a synopsis of the book and author biography, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The opening date for entries is 1st May 2021. The closing date for entries is 30th September at 23.59 p.m. GMT. No entries received after this date will be accepted.
All submissions will be read and judged by the Joffe Books team, Koomson and Yearwood. The winner of the competition will be selected by these judges based on their work’s quality and commercial potential.