A literary agent all her professional life, Deborah Rogers (1938-2014) set up her own agency in 1967, and twenty years later formed Rogers Coleridge & White with Gill Coleridge and Pat White. One of the most influential literary agents of her generation, Deborah was renowned for her taste, her loyalty and her immense generosity in the support she gave to authors. At the 2014 London Book Fair, Deborah was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing, the first agent to have received the honour. Her sudden death a few weeks later sent a shockwave through the world of publishing and the many writers, publishers and agents whose lives she had touched.
Deborah’s particular genius lay in identifying and supporting talented young people. The Deborah Rogers Foundation (DRF) has therefore been set up in her memory to continue to seek out and support emerging talent specifically by means of two biennial awards:-
The Writers Award which gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book, and The DRF David Miller Bursary which offers work placements in publishing houses worldwide together with £10,000 to help a young agent or publisher gain international work experience.
The Board chaired by Lord Berkeley of Knighton, Deborah’s widower, comprises people who knew and loved Deborah, including RCW colleagues, writers Ian McEwan and William Fiennes and friends from the publishing world.
The winner of the 2018 Writers Award was Deepa Anappara for her novel-in-progress, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line. Runners-up were Dima Alzayat for Daughters of Manat & Other Stories and Chris Connolly for The Speed of Light and How it Cannot Help Us.
The winner of the inaugural DRF David Miller Bursary Award of £10,000 was Sam Coates, Senior Rights Executive of Vintage Books, PRH.
The second Writers Award will be presented on 16th May 2018 from a shortlist of three announced on 2nd May 2018.