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 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.
The winner of the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writers Award 2016 is Sharlene Wen-Ning Teo for Ponti, a work of fiction. This was announced today Thursday 5th May at a small ceremony in London. Shena Mackay (Chair of the Judges) introduced the shortlisted authors after which Ian McEwan announced the winner and presented her with the prize of £10,000.
Shena Mackay, Owen Sheers and Kate Summerscale announce the shortlist for the inaugural £10,000 DRF Award. Three are chosen out of 885 entries. Ian McEwan and Peter Carey to celebrate the winner at key events
Shena Mackay, Owen Sheers and Kate Summerscale to choose the winner of the inaugural £10,000 DRF award, Ian McEwan and Peter Carey to celebrate the winner at key events. Over 850 entries for the award.
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.
Colm Tóibín announces the winner of the 2021 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. View the full article to see the results.