Deborah Rogers Foundation launches with new Writers Award



9th October 2015


  • £10,000 award to enable writer to complete their first book

It is now 18 months since the universally loved and respected literary agent, Deborah Rogers, died. Her sudden death 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. She herself said “I want to work with books that make me feel ennobled” and the Deborah Rogers Foundation (DRF) has therefore been set up in her memory to continue to seek out and nurture new talent.

The board of the Foundation, chaired by Lord Berkeley of Knighton, Deborah’s widower, comprises people who knew and loved Deborah, including RCW colleagues Gill Coleridge and Peter Straus with David Miller as secretary. The Members of the Foundation, which includes writers Ian McEwan and William Fiennes, are listed below.

The first initiative of the Deborah Rogers Foundation, announced on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair, is a £10,000 award for a first-time writer whose work demonstrates literary talent but who needs financial support to complete their first book. This can be fiction, non-fiction and short stories but not poetry.

To be eligible, writers – who must reside within the British Commonwealth and Eire and whose work must be written in the English language – are required to submit a minimum 20-30,000 words of literary merit. The closing date for submissions is 31 January 2016 and the inaugural Writers Award will be presented in Summer 2016. (Full submission details here.)

Gill Coleridge comments, "Deborah was both a dear friend and an inspirational colleague to all at RCW. She had impeccable taste and a generous heart, and one of her most endearing characteristics was the interest and support she gave to new writers, wherever they came from. The inauguration of the Deborah Rogers Foundation is the means to ensure that her legacy to the publishing world will be continued and the Writers Award will adopt precisely the same approach to first-time writers as Deborah did in person."

Deborah Rogers Foundation


  • Lord Berkeley of Knighton CBE


  • Gill Coleridge, RCW
  • Tamsin Eastwood
  • Dotti Irving
  • Peter Straus, RCW

Members include:

  • David Miller, RCW (Secretary)
  • Richard Cable
  • Liz Calder
  • Carmen Callil
  • William Fiennes
  • Peter Florence
  • Andrew Franklin
  • Ian McEwan
  • Stephen Page
  • Baroness Rebuck DBE


The shortlist for the 2018 DRF Writers Award will be announced on Wednesday 2nd May. The Award itself will be presented by Anne Enright on Wednesday 16th May at an event in London
We are delighted to announce the publication of The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar this month by Harvill Secker.
At 6pm on Wednesday 13th December submissions to the DRF Writers’ Award closed. The winner will be announced in May 2018 and shortlisted writers will be contacted directly.
Submissions for the 2018 Writers’ Award close on 13th December.
Submissions open from 1 October until 13 December 2017. Man Booker winner, Anne Enright, to chair the judges. Ponti, winner of the inaugural award, already sold in 8 countries
Submissions for the 2018 Writers Award will open on 1st October 2017 and close on 13th December 2017.
The winner of the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Bursary Award is Sam Coates, Senior Rights Executive of Vintage Books, PRH. The Bursary will henceforth be known as the DRF David Miller Bursary in memory of David Miller (1966-2016) who worked at RCW and was a founding member of the DRF Bursary.
The applications for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Bursary award are now closed.
"In April 2014, the death of the “peerless” literary agent Deborah Rogers shocked the book trade; an estimated 800 people were in attendance at a memorial held in her honour in October that year....
The Deborah Rogers Foundation is delighted to announce a second award, The Deborah Rogers Foundation Bursary.