Shortlist of three announced for the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award
- Judges Ian Rankin OBE (Chair), Sarah Perry and Max Porter announce the shortlist for the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award
- Three are chosen out of 876 entries
- The shortlist was chosen from a longlist of eight submissions
- Winner to be announced on 12th May online and on social media
Ian Rankin OBE (Chair), Sarah Perry and Max Porter - the judges of the 2020 Deborah Rogers Writers Award, today announce their shortlist of three. These first-time unpublished writers have been chosen from a longlist of eight submissions. This year the total number of entries was 876. The winner will receive a prize of £10,000 and the two runners-up receive £1,000 each.
The three writers shortlisted are:
- ‘Pemi Aguda, THE SUICIDE MOTHERS
- S. Bhattacharya-Woodward, ZOLO AND OTHER STORIES
- Stephen Buoro, THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES OF ANDY AFRICA
These were chosen from a longlist of eight, including the following:
- Brendan Casey, SHE THA LAY, SILENT-LIKE, UPON OUR SHORE
- Kate Ellis, HAPPY SWIMMERS
- Aisling Flynn, FOX TEETH
- Helen Longstreth, THINGS IN EVERY ROOM
- Sydney Weinberg, WEEK OF THE BIRDS
The winner will be announced on Tuesday 12th May. In place of the Award ceremony that was planned in London, the announcement will be made online at www.deborahrogersfoundation.org and on social media. The winner will then receive a prize of £10,000 and the two runners-up will receive £1,000 each.
In keeping with Deborah’s lifelong objective to seek out and nurture new talent, this £10,000 award is for a first-time writer whose work demonstrates literary talent but who needs support to complete their first book. This should be fiction, non-fiction or short stories, but not poetry.
To enter, writers – who must reside within the British Commonwealth and Eire and whose work must be written in the English language – were required to submit 20,000-25,000 words of literary merit.
Judges of the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award:
Ian Rankin OBE is the internationally bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus and Detective Malcolm Fox novels, as well as a string of standalone thrillers. His books have been translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers on several continents. Ian is the recipient of four CWA Dagger Awards and in 2004 won America’s celebrated Edgar Award. He is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Hull and Edinburgh, and received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. Her first novel, After Me Comes the Flood, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize, and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was a number one bestseller in hardback, Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, and the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2017. Her most recent novel, Melmoth, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas prize. Her work has been translated into twenty languages. She lives in Norwich.
Max Porter’s first novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers won the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. It has been sold in twenty-nine territories. His second novel Lanny was a Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller and has sold in twenty-two territories. Max was previously editorial director at Granta, where his authors included Eleanor Catton, Han Kang and Rebecca Solnit. He now lives in Bath with his family.
Previous winners of the DRF Writers Award:
The winner of the 2018 DRF Writers Award was Deepa Anappara for her novel Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line. Since winning the prize this novel has been sold in over 21 territories and was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “a Literary Supernova”.
The runners-up were Dima Alzayat for Daughters of Manat & Other Stories, which will be published as Alligator & Other Stories and Chris Connolly for The Speed of Light and How it Cannot Help Us. Both titles are collections of stories.
The winner of the 2016 DRF Writers Award was Sharlene Teo for her novel Ponti. Since winning the award this novel has been sold in 10 countries.
The runners-up were Guy Stagg for The Crossway and Imogen Hermes Gower for The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.