stormzy is searching for the uk’s best new writer

The #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize will include representation for the winning author as well as a publishing contract with #Merky Books.

by Roisin Lanigan
13 March 2019, 1:29pm

Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch

Not content with headlining Glastonbury, sponsoring students to study at Cambridge and launching his own publishing imprint, Merky Books, Stormzy is now on the hunt for Britain’s next big writing talent.

The #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, for which submissions are open until 12 April, aims to find the best writer of a new generation and promote stories which aren’t being heard. Launched in collaboration with The Good Literary Agency and First Story, the prize will include representation for the winning author as well as a publishing contract with #Merky Books.

The parameters for the competition are wide; open to anyone in the UK and Ireland between 16 and 30, and to writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. As well as the winning prize, all authors announced as part of the shortlist (on 2 May) will be invited to a free workshop hosted by Penguin, with an opportunity to get editorial feedback and information on getting their work published.

Stormzy himself will sit on the judging panel, which will also include writer Yrsa Daley-Ward, poet Kayo Chingonyi, Nikesh Shukla from The Good Literary Agency, Cornerstone Managing Director Susan Sandon and a special guest judge who is yet to be announced.

“I know too many talented writers that don’t always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen,” said Stormzy in a statement. “Hopefully #Merky books can now be a reference point for them to say ‘I can be an author and for that to be a realistic and achievable goal. Reading and writing as a kid was integral to where I am today and I, from the bottom of my heart, cannot wait to hear your stories and get them out into the big wide world.”

You can find out more about the prize and how to enter your work here.

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