The Deborah Rogers Foundation Spring Newsletter 2024

April 2024 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Deborah Rogers, after which this Foundation was set up in her memory. So this seems the appropriate moment to celebrate the positive impact that the DRF has made to our industry by supporting emerging talent in the publishing world, and I am delighted to share with you our first newsletter which tells some of the stories so far. I hope to continue to share our news in this way on a seasonal basis.

Gill Coleridge, Founder of the Deborah Rogers Foundation

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Looking ahead

The DRF Writers Award will be running again in 2025: submissions will open in January 2025.

Previous recipients of the DRF Writers Award have gone on to enjoy great publishing success. This year, we are looking forward to the publication of ‘Pemi Aguda’s short stories, Ghostroots, by Virago in June. ‘Pemi was the winner of the Writers Award in 2020.


The David Miller Internship Programme will run September - October 2024 with placements at literary agencies and publishers, and an invaluable visit to the 2024 Frankfurt Book Fair. Applications open in April, and the selection process starts in May in partnership with Creative Access. We will once again be looking for hosts to help with accommodation.


2023: A Year in Review

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Left-right: Claire Adam, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Neil Rollinson, Annalena McAfee

Neil Rollinson’s novel takes the 2023 Writers Award

Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah (Chair), award-winning novelist, Claire Adam, and the renowned writer and journalist, Annalena McAfee judged Neil

Rollinson’s novel, The Dead Don’t Bleed, winner of the 2023 Writers Award. The announcement was made at a hugely enjoyable party kindly hosted by Faber on 9 November. The two runners up were Michelle Alipao Chikaonda for her essays, The Dying Embers of Our Setting Sun and Alicia McAuley for her story collection, The Caul.

On receipt of the award, Neil Rollinson said “This will give me the needed inspiration to continue on finishing and finalising the manuscript and of course the prize will enable me now to find the necessary time to commit to it without having to worry about other work, for a while.”


David Miller Internship Programme

Winning candidates Milan Sehmbi and Wiggy Bob Snow spent six weeks on placement with literary agencies and publishing companies to gain an insight into the world of publishing rights. A highlight was attending the 2023 Frankfurt Book

Fair. The DRF was very grateful for the opportunities provided by Aitken Alexander Associates, David Higham Associates, ILA, Penguin Random House, Faber, Profile Books, PEW Literary, Greyhound Literary and Eccles Fisher Associates this year.

The interns are currently looking for entry level jobs in the industry. One of the 2022 interns, Valentia Afari has recently joined Hachette:

“Since completing the DRF internship in 2022, I have joined Hachette in my newest endeavour into the industry. I am currently working as a Rights and Co-Editions

Assistant with the colour division, assisting across the Welbeck, Laurence King and Greenfinch imprints. I have been assisting in the foreign rights sales of colour books as well as gifts and games. The most interesting part of my new position has been working closely with the Production team for our co-editions. I have learnt so many new terminologies and acronyms! (I didn't know I could find paper so fascinating!)

Entering a publishing house would have been incredibly daunting if it wasn't for the DRF's diligence in placing me in publishing houses during the internship. Through my placements in Penguin, Faber and Profile, I was able to get a good sense of how publishing houses operated in comparison to agencies; an invaluable asset which has enabled me to venture into Hachette without any misgivings.”



The first two fledgling publishing professionals to be offered the David Miller Internship Programme reflect on what the scheme taught them, ahead of taking another step forward at this year’s London Book Fair.
Submissions for the DRF 2023 Writers Award can be made between 1st January 2023 until 31st March 2023.
The 2023 DRF Writers Award will open for submissions on 1st January 2023 and close on 31st March.
Two paid internships providing an entry level insight into rights and agenting in publishing. Focus on attracting candidates from communities under-represented in the industry. Interviews in early July, placements in September for 6 weeks.
Mathelinda Nabugodi wins the 2021 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. Runners-up are Yasmine Awwad and Sophie Meadows. Judges were Colm Tóibín, Deepa Anappara, Anna James and Ingrid Persaud. The winner receives £10,000. Runners-up each receive £1,000
It is with regret that we are announcing that the 2021 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award will be moving to a virtual format this year, meaning that the in-person event scheduled at The Amadeus in London is now cancelled.
Judges Colm Tóibín, Deepa Anappara, Anna James and Ingrid Persaud announce the shortlist for the 2021 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award
On 1st July 2021 submissions to the DRF Writers Award closed. The winner will be announced on 7th December 2021 and shortlisted writers will be contacted by email in mid-November 2021.
Submissions for the DRF 2021 Writers Award can be made between 1st April 2021 until 1st July 2021.
The 2021 DRF Writers Award will open for submissions on 1st April 2021 and close on 1st July 2021. The next DRF David Miller Bursary will open for applications in late 2021.