Applications for the 2021 DRF Writers Award are now invited.
Submissions can be made from 1st APRIL until 1st JULY 2021
The Judges of the 2021 Award will be Colm Tóibín (Chair), Deepa Anappara, Anna James and Ingrid Persaud.
An award of £10,000 will be presented to a first-time prose writer whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their work:
• Submissions should take the form of 15,000 – 20,000 words of a work in progress, fiction or non-fiction, which is not agented, under option or contract
• Applicants may not be under contract to any publisher for any work or title in any language
• Applications are only open to writers who have not previously published or self-published a full-length book of prose (with the exception of a collection of poetry)
• Entrants must write in the English language and reside within the British Commonwealth or Eire
• Submissions should be accompanied by a brief synopsis and a short biographical note.
• Applicants who submitted work for previous Writers Awards may re-apply but the work submitted must be new
• Longlisted authors will be offered an editorial consultation with an agent at RCW
• The winner receives a cheque for £10,000 and each runner-up receives £1,000
Submissions for the 2021 Writers Award open on 1st April 2021 and close on 1st July 2021. If your submission is on the longlist you will be notified by email. The shortlist will be announced in November 2021. The winner of the Award will be announced in London on 7th December 2021 at an event to which the three shortlisted authors will be invited. The judges for the 2021 award are Colm Tóibín (Chair), Deepa Anappara, Anna James and Ingrid Persaud.
Do you accept submissions from Children’s writers?
Yes, we do accept submissions of Children’s, YA, Middle-Grade etc
Can I enter if I have self-published a book before?
No, we do not accept submissions from self-published writers
Can I enter if I have had a book of poetry published before?
Yes, we do accept submissions from writers who have published a collection of poetry
What are the Commonwealth countries?
A list of British Commonwealth countries can be found here
Can I have been published in another language?
No, unfortunately we do not accept submissions from authors who have previously been published in any language
Will I hear from anyone?
You will receive an automated response to your submission, but please note we are unable to respond to queries
I have submitted to the DRF Writers Award before, can I submit again?
Yes, you can submit new work to the DRF Writers Award, but not work you have submitted in a previous year
Can I submit more than one work?
No, we allow only one submission per writer
I have an agent/representation, can I still apply?
We do not accept submissions from writers with agents. Additionally writers cannot be under option or contract to a publisher
Can I enter if I have translated or edited a work or anthology?
If you have translated or edited a work you may enter the prize, so long as you are not the only contributor named in the work
Can I enter if I have had a book published by a small academic press?
No, we do not accept submissions from writers who have previously published a book-length work
Do you accept submissions of graphic novels, picture books or cookery books?
No, we do not accept these types of submissions
I’m a published non-fiction/fiction writer, and this is my first work of fiction/non-fiction; am I still eligible?
No, we do not accept authors who have previously been published in a full-length prose format (with the exception of a collection of poetry)
Can I enter if I have had a short story or an essay published in an anthology, journal or magazine?
Yes, in this case you would be eligible
Can I enter if I have had a script for a play, film or TV published?
Yes, you would be eligible
The previous Winners of the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award
The winner of the 2020 DRF Writers Award was ‘Pemi Aguda for The Suicide Mothers. In second place was Stephen Buoro for The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa and in third place S. Bhattacharya-Woodward for Zolo and Other Stories. All three titles were works of fiction.
Pemi said: “As artists, our financial lives are so precarious and so receiving support of this size, especially now, fills me with peace about the near future. So, thank you.”
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”.
Deepa said: “Winning the DRF Writers Award and listening to the helpful comments of the judges gave me both the permission and conviction I needed to finish my novel.”
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 inaugural 2016 DRF Writers Award was Sharlene Teo for her novel Ponti. Since winning the award this novel has been sold in 10 countries.
Sharlene said: “Winning the Deborah Rogers Award was life-changing and provided me with the confidence and support to finish my novel.”
The runners-up were Guy Stagg for The Crossway, a memoir, and Imogen Hermes Gower for her novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.
Ian McEwan CBE, Deepa Anappara and Sharlene Teo at the Hay Festival 2018.