Deadline: June 30, 2023

Entry fee: £10

About the competition

Exceptionally international in scope, the prize supports writers who have not yet published a book-length work, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The winners of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication, and will be published in Wasafiri’s print magazine. Shortlisted writers will have their work published on Wasafiris website. All fifteen shortlistees and winners will also be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility), and a conversation with Nikesh Shukla of The Good Literary Agency to discuss their career progression.   

Every writer recognised by the prize, running since 2009, remains part of the Wasafiri community, and is supported by the magazine as their career grows. Past winners and shortlistees have gone on to score deals with major international publishing houses such as Verso, Peepal Tree Press, and HarperCollins India, and to be shortlisted for and win prizes including the T S Eliot, Ambit Short Fiction, and Bocas Poetry Prize, among very many others. 

This year, the prize will be chaired by literary leading light Diana Evans. Diana will be joined by a truly remarkable panel of multi-award-winning poets and authors. Fiction judge, Leila Aboulela says ‘Wasafiri has always been ahead of its time in recognising the power of literature to capture global movements and interconnections. It will be exciting to read talented entries from all over the world and find out what is really going on behind the media’s attention-grabbing headlines!’. Caleb Femi, who is judging the 2023 poetry category, is himself a former shortlistee of the Prize in the poetry category and says he is ‘excited to find strong new voices across a wide range of forms and worlds’. And finally, Aanchal Malhotra is looking forward to ‘reading pieces that are inventive and excavative, exploring the abundant landscape of Life Writing today’ as a judge in that category.

Competition guidelines

  • The competition is open to anyone who has not published or signed a contract to publish a book-length work of fiction, life writing, or poetry, except for self-published works or poetry chapbooks.
  • Entries must be in English and must not have been previously published in any form (excluding live performances or shares on personal blogs or social media channels).
  • If entries are published, or accepted for publication, elsewhere between submission and shortlisting, they will no longer be eligible. You must inform us immediately if work submitted to the prize is then accepted for publication elsewhere by emailing [email protected].
  • The competition is not open to members of the Wasafiri Board or Wasafiri staff, or any individual involved in the administration of the prize, or their families.
  • Entries must be completed through the submissions form no later than 5pm BST on  30 June 2023.
  • Failure to meet the conditions of entry will mean that a submission is automatically disqualified from the competition. Entry fee will not be refunded.
  • Read the whole guideline and enter the competition here.
VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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