You wanna be on top?
Calling all budding young writers, Stormzy wants you. Last year, he set up his publishing imprint at Penguin, #Merky Books, to support a new generation of writers and also give young readers a fresh crop of new voices to engage with.
Now, this initiative will be giving out a prize to find the nation’s next top young author, aged between 16 and 30. The New Writers Prize is a competition for unpublished writers of fiction and non-fiction works to submit manuscripts and ideas for the chance to win a publishing contract.
Winners will be represented by The Good Literary Agency, co-founded by Nikesh Shukla who edited the vital anthology The Good Immigrant. Shortlisted writers will still get to attend writing workshops, attend talks by Penguin Random House authors, and have one-to-one feedback sessions analysing their work.
Speaking about the project Stormzy said: “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 a realistic and achievable goal.”
He continued: “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.”
A panel of judges including the Gang Signs and Prayer rapper, Shukla, the author Yrsa Daley-Ward, and Penguin Random House UK’s Susan Sandon, will determine the winner on June 6. You can apply here.
Until then, discover new writers via these new anthologies edited and authored by mostly up-and-coming names in the UK and the US.