Announcement of the winner of the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award
The winner of the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award is ‘Pemi Aguda for The Suicide Mothers, a work of fiction. Ian Rankin OBE (Chair of the Judges) introduced the shortlisted authors, online and via social media, and then announced the winner who will receive the prize of £10,000.
‘Pemi Aguda accepted her award via video:
In second place is Stephen Buoro for The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa and in third place S. Bhattacharya-Woodward for Zolo and Other Stories. Both titles are works of fiction. The authors will each receive £1,000.
You can find more about the award, the winner and the runners-up on our Writers Award page.
A literary agent all her professional life, Deborah Rogers (1938-2014) set up her own agency in 1967, and twenty years later formed 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The Writers Award which gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book, and The DRF David Miller Bursary which offers work placements in publishing houses worldwide together with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.