Grime artist Stormzy’s #Merky Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House's William Heinemann division, has announced a prize for new writers to “promote the stories that aren’t being heard”.
Launched in collaboration with The Good Literary Agency and First Story, the #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize is open for submissions until 12th April.
The winner will be selected by a panel of judges including Stormzy, writer Yrsa Daley-Ward, poet Kayo Chingonyi, Nikesh Shukla of The Good Literary Agency, Cornerstone m.d. Susan Sandon, and a further "special guest" to be announced.
A shortlist will be revealed on 2nd May before the winner is crowned on 6th June, receiving representation from The Good Literary Agency and a #Merky Books publishing contract.
Stormzy said: “I know too many talented writers that don’t always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen.
“Hopefully #Merky Books can now be a reference point for them to say ‘I can be an author’ and for that to be a realistic and achievable goal. Reading and writing as a kid was integral to where I am today and I, from the bottom of my heart, cannot wait to hear your stories and get them out into the big wide world.”
All shortlisted authors will be invited to a free workshop hosted by Penguin Random House, including editorial feedback and information on how to get published.
The prize is open to aspiring writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry from the UK and Eire, aged between 16 and 30.