The DRF Summer Newsletter 2024

June has seen the successful recruitment of two new interns for the David Miller Internship, who will be introduced here in this newsletter. We are now in the third year of the programme, and it is inspiring to witness its ongoing success. I am incredibly grateful to all those who are involved with the scheme. It is a very fitting tribute to both David Miller and Deborah Rogers. 

Gill Coleridge, Founder of the Deborah Rogers Foundation

Looking ahead

The David Miller Internship Programme runs 16 September to 25 October 2024 with placements at literary agencies and publishers, plus an invaluable visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair 2024. It culminates with a presentation to Trustees and a reception with partner firms kindly hosted by Faber on 24 October. We will once again be looking for help with accommodation.  

The DRF Writers Award will return in 2025: submissions will open in January.



David Miller Internship Programme

The search for this year’s interns began in April, in partnership with Creative Access. Bibi Hilton, Chief Executive of Creative Access commented:

‘Creative Access’ own data confirms that financial barriers hinder many from entering and thriving in the literary world, with over half (57%) of respondents to our recent survey citing financial barriers as a significant threat to their creative career progression. The top three reported financial barriers when applying to jobs were commuting costs, unaffordable living costs, and lacking funds for relocation. The DRF David Miller Internship Programme's provision of accommodation, travel costs, and a fully paid internship is not only groundbreaking but crucial. This initiative sets a new standard, broadening access to individuals from underrepresented groups in publishing, literary rights, and agenting. We're proud to be a vital partner in this initiative.’


Over 190 applicants were whittled down eventually to a shortlist of five who were interviewed at RCW Literary Agency in June. The winning interns will begin the programme on 16 September, after an induction with Creative Access, who are on hand to support with career development throughout the process. Thanks to all the companies who will be providing placements over the six-week period, including Penguin Random House, Faber, Profile Books, David Higham, Greyhound Literary, ILA, PEW Literary and Eccles Fisher. The scheme would be nothing without your enthusiastic support. 


Introducing the DMIP interns 2024

Lena Bruns 

Lena is a postgraduate student from Germany, currently seeing out her MA in International Publishing at City, University of London. She has a keen interest in promoting diversity and inclusivity in literature, with particular focus on the global aspects of the publishing industry.


Leanne Francis


Leanne Francis is a writer from Stockton-on-Tees who graduated with a first-class degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Newcastle University. She has since been a writer for The Publishing Post, co-editing the first full issue celebrating Black History Month, and for Big Black Books. She was shortlisted for the Poets of Colour incubator programme in 2023.  



We are once again looking for potential hosts who can offer a room to an intern for the duration of the programme. We are very grateful to Sue and John Neeve who hosted one of our interns in 2023. Of the experience, Sue wrote: 

‘The arrangement was a great success as far as we were concerned ... We were very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in a small way in the internship programme and it was a particular delight to hear Wiggy and the other successful intern present at the Faber awards party.’


DRF Writers Award

The winner of the 2023 Writers Award, Neil Rollinson has sold his novel The Dead Don’t Bleed to Jonathan Cape. It will be published next year. 


‘Pemi Aguda’s short stories, Ghostroots, have just been published by Virago (UK)  and Norton (US) to great acclaim. ‘Pemi was the winner of the Writers Award in 2020 for her novel, The Suicide Mothers which will be published next year. The New York Times Book Review wrote ‘these stories herald the arrival of a major voice in speculative fiction’,  while Lauren Groff, author of The Vaster Wilds concluded ‘A wonderful collection …. an astonishing talent’.

The judges for the 2025 Writers Award have been confirmed. Our next newsletter will introduce the panel ahead of submissions opening in January.


On 31st March 2023 submissions to the DRF Writers Award closed. The longlisted writers will be contacted by email September 2023 and the winner will be announced October 2023
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.