#Merky Books is an imprint within William Heinemann, a part of Penguin Random House UK and is the home of their publications from a generation of new writers. The imprint is curated by grime music star, Stormzy and it was launched in Autum 2018 with the publication of Stormzy’s own book, Rise Up.
This year, Penguin Random House are proud to announce the launch of #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, a competition for writers from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). The prize is a collaboration with The Good Literacy Agency and First Story and is open to poetry, fiction or non-fiction writers aged 16-30 in UK & ROI.
Shortlisted writers will be invited to a special event in London which includes writing workshops, presentations for Penguin Random House authors and one-to-one feedback personalised to each writer. The overall winning writer will receive a publishing contract with #Merky Books and representation from The Good Literacy Agency. “We are looking for writers to tell the stories that are not being heard, and the stories that deserve to be read, whether fiction, non-fiction or poetry,” explains the Penguin websites.
While #Merky Books’ very own Stormzy adds, “I know too many talented writers that don’t always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen and hopefully #Merky Books can now be a reference point for them to say ‘I can be an author’ and for that to be realistic and achievable goal. Reading and writing as a kid were 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.”
To enter this exciting new writing prize, simply fill in the application form by midnight on 12th April and provide a 200-word synopsis and 2,500-word extract (or 500-word extract for poetry).
This week, the winners were announced and the overall winner is a gripping tale about a refugee boy and the judges are calling it a future classic.
The prize will be awarded to the work that receives praise not just from the judging panel and industry experts but also from readers too. The shortlist, to come later this year, will be compiled on the basis of a number of factors including sales, reader reviews and pages read in Kindle Unlimited.
Basically every writer’s dream- to get paid to keep writing what you want to write.
The Windham-Campbell prizes were established in 2013, thanks to the writer Donald Windham leaving his estate to Yale University. Windham struggled financially during his first attempts at being a professional author, and along with his partner Sandy Campbell, had long wanted to create a literary award to support fellow writers. Authors are anonymously nominated and judged, and winners are notified by the prize director Michael Kelleher with no previous warning.
Earlier this month the 2019 longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced and we have that featured below. Coming up on April 29th will be the shortlist and we’ll bring you that as it happens, then the winner will be announced on June 5th.
Here’s that longlist and what a great list of books we have this year.
The Bookseller reports that in all, forty-eight bookshops are competing, from nine regions of the UK and are all hoping to win in their local area before going forward to compete for the overall, nationwide prize.
Here are the shortlisted books for each region. We have some of the bookshops listed in our bookshop section so the ones featured are linked: