Stormzy’s publishing imprint #Merky Books launches 2022 New Writers’ Prize and says “your voice matters!”

Stormzy Merky Books

#Merky Books has launched the 2022 New Writers’ Prize, an annual writing competition that aims to discover unpublished, underrepresented writers aged 16-30 from the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Writers can submit fiction, non-fiction and poetry and the winner of the prize will receive a publishing contract with #Merky Books. All shortlisted writers will be invited to a Writers’ Camp, where they will learn more about the publishing process through writing workshops and panel talks and receive one-to-one feedback from Penguin Random House UK editors and the #Merky Books team.

This is the third year that the New Writers’ Prize has run and over 2,000 submissions were received for the award last year. Previous winners include Hafsa Zayyan, author of We Are All Birds of Uganda; poet Monika Radojevic with her collection Teeth in the Back of my Neck; and Jyoti Patel, whose upcoming novel The Things That We Lost publishes in January 2022.

Lemara Lindsay-Prince, Senior Commissioning Editor at #Merky Books, says:

“Now in our third year and going from strength to strength, the #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize is back! The prize represents the heart of what we do – publishing bold voices from untraditional spaces – and providing a platform and literary home for new talent. As always, the prize will have a standout line up of judges – more on that soon – who are excited to read what’s out there. I’m encouraging everyone to apply even if you have the threads of a story, or the first stanza of a poem – your voice matters!”

The deadline for the New Writers’ Prize is 10 September 2022 and applicants can apply here:

Notes to editors

About #Merky Books:

Founded in 2018 by Stormzy and Penguin Random House UK, #Merky Books is an award-winning publishing imprint with a clear ambition to publish books that will own – and change – the mainstream. We are home to bold voices from untraditional spaces that are inclusive and intersectional. We exist to break down barriers in the publishing industry, and we bring books to life in an exciting way.

Our publishing includes a memoir of a writing life by Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman and the heroic life of Olympic champion Caster Semenya, literary writers such as the award-winning Derek Owusu and the first New Writers’ Prize winners Hafsa Zayyan and Monika Radojevic, and cultural stories such as the book which decolonised literature, Jade LB’s Keisha the Sket, and Calum Jacobs’ A New Formation on the glory of Black British football.

Alongside our expansive publishing our community values are vital to what we do, and we invest in the voices of today and tomorrow. With an annual New Writers’ Prize, we engage directly with a cultivated audience through our brand channels and partnerships, and connect directly with communities of readers, writers, illustrators across the country with our literary festivals.

Press contact: Etty Eastwood, Publicity Director | | 07876 035239

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