We are pleased to announce the 30 winners of the inaugural London Writers Awards. The Awards aim to increase the number of London-based writers of colour and working class, LGBTQ+ and disabled writers being taken up by agents and publishers.
Selected through open application, with judges including award-winning writers, editors and agents, the 2018 London Writers Awards’ winners are:
Helen Bowell, Jamie Hale, Annie Hayter, Lily Paine, Merrie Joy Williams, Jemilea Wisdom-Baako.
Koyer Ahmed, Tice Cin, Sofia Fara, Sara Jafari, Kira McPherson, Riley Rockford.
Arun Das, Nina Duttaroy, Iqbal Hussain, Esther Poyer, Chris Simpson.
Marta Bausells, Gavino di Vino, Stacey Ng, Bunmi Ogunsiji, Elaine Williams, Stephen Wrench.
Anne Chen, Alex Falase-Koya, Sahar Halaimzai, Priscilla Mante, Alexis Rigg, Lui Sit.
Daljit Nagra, Judge and author explains: “It’s a great honour to engage with exciting new writers many of whom will be significant authors helping us to shape the way we view our increasingly complicated world. I hope to inspire these exciting new writers so they fulfil their own potential as they embark on their own unique journeys of the imagination.”
Rishi Dastidar, Chair of Trustees, Spread the Word said: “The 30 people who make up the inaugural cohort of the London Writers Awards are a true reflection of London, in terms of their diverse backgrounds, their life experiences – their stories so far – and most importantly, their undisputed talent. Across all the categories, the programme has shown it is more than possible to find writers who come from backgrounds not yet fully represented by the publishing industry, and who deserve the chance to have their voices heard. It is reminder that the future of important British, indeed, international writing can be found right here in this city.”
The winners will participate in a free intensive nine-month development programme which will include masterclasses led by bestselling authors such as Adam Kay, Catherine Johnson, Claire McGowan and Romesh Gunsekera and career focused sessions supported by founding partners; the Independent Publishers Guild, the Society of Authors, Knights Of; Burning Eye Books; Diamond, Kahn & Woods Literary Agency and Bookouture. The Awards will culminate in a showcase event on 23 May 2019.
In 2018, eight bursaries and access funds were awarded ensuring equality of access and participation for all Awardees. The London Writers Awards receive support from Arts Council England and sponsorship from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).
Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ALCS, said: “The London Writers Awards are a great occasion to celebrate and help cultivate the talents of under-represented writers in London. ALCS is proud to sponsor a programme that provides creative opportunities to writers who otherwise may not have had the chance to flourish.”