Deborah Rogers

A literary agent all her professional life, Deborah Rogers (1938-2014) set up her own agency in 1967, and twenty years later formed RCW 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 and young people in publishing.   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 been set up in her memory to continue to seek out and support emerging talent specifically by means of two biennial awards:


  • The DRF Writers Award gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book
  • The DRF David Miller Bursary gives £10,000 to a rights person together with a choice of work placements in publishing houses worldwide to help gain international 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 Foundation is a registered charity.


The 2021 DRF David Miller Bursary will open for applications in Spring 2021, the winner will be announced in November 2021.
Submissions will open for the fourth DRF Writers Award from early 2022, and the panel of judges will be announced in the months beforehand. The winner will be announced in November 2022.
The winner of the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award is ‘Pemi Aguda for The Suicide Mothers, a work of fiction. Ian Rankin (Chair of the Judges) introduced the three shortlisted authors and then announced the winner who will receive the prize of £10,000.
Judges Ian Rankin OBE (Chair), Sarah Perry and Max Porter announce the shortlist for the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. 3 are chosen out of 876 entries and a shortlist of 8.
The winner of the 2019 DRF David Miller Bursary, Prema Raj, has reported on her time spent at five different publishing companies, in Denmark, Italy, the UK and the USA.
The winner will be announced in mid-May 2020 and shortlisted writers will be contacted directly.