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The Writers Award which gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book, and The DRF David Miller Bursary which offers work placements in publishing houses worldwide together with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 2016 Writers Award was Sharlene Teo for her novel-in-progress, "Ponti". Runners up were Imogen Hermes Gower for "The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock" and Guy Stagg for "The Crossway". All three writers have subsequently signed significant deals with major publishers.
The winner of the inaugural DRF David Miller Bursary Award of £10,000 is Sam Coates, Senior Rights Executive of Vintage Books, PRH.
The second Writers Award will be awarded in May 2018 and submissions are invited from 1st October 2017.