Rachel Mills Literary Agency and adult education centre Morley College are launching the Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour, a contest for aspiring writers from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds seeking to break into publishing.
The annual prize will award £500 to a previously unpublished author, and is intended to nurture and provide opportunities for aspiring novelists, promote diverse fiction across the broader literary landscape of Britain, and support Morley College’s ambitions to build an annual festival celebrating diversity in Britain.
A panel of five writers and publishers will adjudicate the prize. The panel includes This Lovely City (HarperCollins) writer Louise Hare, Ebury commissioning editor Marianne Tatepo, lecturer in creative and professional writing at the University of Bristol Billy K Kahora, and Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, poet and reader in postcolonial literature at the School of Cultural Studies at Leeds Beckett University.
RML agent Nelle Andrew said: “The Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour is a brilliant opportunity to source talent and give a platform to incredible new voices who may not have had the exposure or encouragement to enter the publishing industry and talent pool before. The prize seeks to encourage anyone of colour, regardless of age or experience, who has not been published (and does not have an agent) to submit an extract of a novel, whether it is unfinished or finished, for the chance to win an award and prizes, including insight and editorial feedback from RML. We are looking for the best pieces of work from authors of BME backgrounds.”
Applicants should submit a manuscript of the first 30 to 50 pages of an original novel, as well as a three-page maximum outline of the whole plot of the novel. Applications open today (17th May) and close on 22nd August. Full details can be found here.