Spread the Word is delighted to announce the names of the 30 writers who have been selected for the 2022 London Writers Awards.
The London-based writers from communities underrepresented in UK publishing – Black, Asian, global majority and working class, LGBTQIA+ and disabled writers – will be supported and nurtured through a ten-month development programme in preparation for meeting with agents and publishers and pursuing their writing careers.
The full list of London Writers Award winners is:
Literary Fiction: Alex Blank, Aparna Surendra, Joe Rizzo-Naudi, Lena Mohamed, Lizzie Clark, Mark O’Brien, Monica Kam, Nadège René, Oisín McKenna, Rachel Marangozov, Ulka Karandikar and William Andrews.
Commercial Fiction: Chris Bridges, FQ Yeoh, Ijeoma Okoye, Keah Lily, Hookz the Writer and Sharon Sylvan.
Narrative Non-Fiction: Jenny Newman, Kayleigh Cassidy, Lorraine Lui, Rebecca White, SJ Lyon and Tia Bannon.
YA/Children’s Fiction: Alka Handa, Amelia Giudici, Kiana Thorpe, Mayo Agard-Olubo, Mel Pettitt and Tomek Mossakowski
Full biographies of the 30 writers who have received a London Writers Award can be found at: https://bit.ly/LWA2022
Matt Turner, Agent at RCW and London Writers Awards 2022 Judge, says:”As a literary agent I have been following the London Writers Award for a number of years, drawn by the real change that it is effecting within the publishing industry, and by the quality of the writing it champions. It is a vital advocate for underrepresented and marginalised communities, and its package of support – mentoring, creative and career advice – is tailored to afford its cohort success, and the opportunity to be read and to be heard. In so doing the London Writers Awards is helping to make the literary world more accessible, and importantly, richer and fuller.”
Rishi Dastidar, Chair of Spread the Word Trustees, comments: “I’m delighted that the London Writers Awards are once more able to showcase a group of wonderfully talented people from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in traditional publishing. The programme remains unique in giving these individuals the chance to develop their skills so they are then ready to launch their professional writing careers. In both fiction and non-fiction genres, it is a joy to be able to work with these writers so their stories can be told on the biggest possible stages.”
The 30 writers begin their programme of development at the Writers’ Lab on Saturday 26 February. Over the course of ten months, the award recipients will attend fortnightly critical feedback groups to grow and develop their work, participate in nine masterclasses led by writers and industry professionals and receive a variety of bespoke development opportunities with editors, agents and the Spread the Word team. The programme will culminate with an industry networking day, where the awardees will be introduced to agents, editors and Spread the Word partners.
The 30 writers were selected from nearly 200 submissions by a panel of judges that included authors Louise Hare, Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Sara Jafari, Benjamin Dean and Sara Gibbs. They were joined by industry judges: Milly Reily (Literary Agent, Jo Unwin); Matt Turner (Literary Agent, RCW), Emma Grundy-Haigh (Editorial Director for Joffe Books), Davinia Andrew-Lynch (Literary Agent, Andlyn) and Emma Bal (Literary Agent, Madeleine Milburn).
Spread the Word has also set up an alumni network for the 87 previous recipients of an Award. This includes on-going craft, career and networking opportunities. The London Writers Awards has already led to a number of successes: 31 of the writers who have completed the programme now have agents, with 17 book deals confirmed including Natasha Brown’s Assembly, Tice Cin’s Keeping the House, Cecile Pin’s Wandering Souls, and Henry Fry’s First Time for Everything.
The Awards are supported by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation with sponsorship from Authors’ Licencing and Collecting Society (ALCS). Founding partners are: the Independent Publishers Guild and the Society of Authors, this year’s sponsors are Jo Unwin, RCW, Joffe Books, Andlyn and the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency.
For more information, visit: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/london-writers-awards
Published 23 February 2022