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Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

About the prize

The path to literary success can sometimes seem elusive, even for those with talent. So, in 2009, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize was launched to support new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality or background. With a list of high profile judges over the years including Brian Chikwava, Colin Grant, Maya Jaggi, Jackie Kay, Tabish Khair, Toby Litt and Blake Morrison, the prize has boosted the confidence of writers in competitive times. In the words of one winner: ‘Before I was shortlisted I was … convinced I was never going to write another poem again .. thank you so much for this, I never … want to stop writing.’

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize:

Alicia Mietus for 'Third Person Female' (Fiction)

Desirée Seebaran for 'Picong' (Poetry)

Ruby D. Jones for 'Natural Causes' (Life Writing)

All winning entries are published in Volume 35 of Wasafiri.


Past winners of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Len LukowskiLife WritingDiary of a Teenage Boy343
2018Danie ShokoohiPoetryIn the Garden Where the Gorgons Live343
2018Deirdre ShanahanFictionPlunder343
2017Julie Abrams-HumphriesLife WritingCrinoline Lady332
2017Mehran WaheedPoetryPetit Navire332
2017Ndinda KiokoFictionSome Freedom Dreams332
2016Shiva Rahbaran
Life WritingMassoumeh: The Story of an Iranian Family in Times of Revolution321
2016Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
PoetryPortrait of My Father as a Grouper321
2016Niamh MacCabe
FictionNobody knows the Shivering Stars321
2015Louise Kennedy
Life WritingA Suitable Family311
2015Amaal Said
PoetryThe Girl Grew311
2015Uschi Gatward
FictionMy Brother is Back311
2014Aurvi Sharma
Life WritingSeeing Double301
2014Pnina Shinebourne
PoetryA poem from the sequence Gateway of India; Dot by dot of hurt301
2014Simon Van der Velde
FictionThe Bearer301
2013Cliff Chen
Life WritingLife Exchange291
2013Anita Pati
PoetryA concise Chinese-English dictionary for stealing love (after Xiaolu Guo)291
2013Gita Ralleigh
FictionBack At The Museum291
2012David Houston
Life WritingWish You Were Here281
2012Sally St Clair
PoetryIn The Beginning and the End281
2012C S Mee
FictionThe Walk281
2011Abeer Hoque
Life WritingOn Growing271
2011Richard Scott
2011Michael Marett-Crosby
FictionRoom 618271
2010Barabara Jenkins
Life WritingIts Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White261
2010Noel Williams
PoetryThe Anthropology of Loss261
2010Jaki McCarrick
FictionMinding Romiya261
2009Bart Moore-Gilbert
Life WritingPrologue251
2009Rowyda Amin
PoetryMonkey Daughter251
2009Ola Awonubi
FictionThe Go Slow Journey251

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