07/06/2019 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Stormzy announces the winners of the first #Merky Books New Writers' Prize



Two new writers between 16 and 30 won publishing contracts with Penguin Random House imprint #Merky Books and representation by The Good Literary Agency

The winners were Monika Radojevic  for her poetry collection 23 and Me, and Hafsa Zayyan for her novel We Are All Birds of Uganda.

'The new writers’ prize is a very new thing, so I’m proud you guys had the confidence to apply,' said Stormzy. 'A lot of talented people don’t fulfil their potential, they are so talented but they sit on it. I call it the beautiful shame. But you guys have the confidence to write, to do something about it, and that’s amazing.’

More than 1,200 submissions from aspiring writers of fiction, poetry and non-fiction aged between 16 and 30 were received for the #Merky Books New Writers' Prize, which was aimed at promoting stories that weren't being heard and finding the best new writers of a new generation.

‘Reading for the prize felt like being given a vision of the future,' said poet Kayo Chingonyi, who judged the award with Stormzy, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Nikesh Shukla and Susan Sandon. 'There was innovation among these entries as well as a very welcome collapsing of received notions of literariness. Not all of these entries are ready to be books right now but there is enormous promise here and the passion and dedication among these writers to live up to their evident potential. I was excited, moved, and I learned from reading these entries and I am confident that a wide range of readers will share in that process before too long as these projects take shape, evolve, and find their audiences.’



For all the latest publishing news, subscribe to Writing Magazine or download our app


Register and sign up for our newsletter for late-breaking news, more competitions and exclusive content


07/06/2019 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Creative writing prizes: 2019 Manchester Writing Competition

The UK's biggest literary award for unpublished work offers £10,000 Fiction and Poetry Prizes ...

Poetry prize: Saltaire Festival Poetry Competition 2019

Poems are invited on the festival theme of Textiles, Technology and Time ...

Flash fiction prize: Grindstone Literary

The International Flash Fiction Prize is open until 28 June, with £500 for the winner ...

Humour writing contest: To Hull and Back Short Story Competition 2019

The writer of the winning story will not only win cash. Their face will be on the anthology cover, which be ...

Other News

Share your writing success

All writing magazine subscribers can feature their writing success in our magazine ...

Creative writing competition: Subcultures and countercultures

Creative Mind writers group is inviting entries of short stories and poems for its annual anthology ...

Creative writing prizes: Mslexia Women's Fiction and Poetry competitions

Mslexia has launched its 2019 prizes for novel, short story, flash fiction, poetry and poetry pamphlets ...

Short story competition: The HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition

Win £500 and publication in the competition for historical short fiction ...