Submit to the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Awards 2021

Win £10,000 for your un-agented, unpublished work-in-progress.
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Pemi Aguda. From

Pemi Aguda won the 2020 DRF Writers Award for her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Mothers. Photo from

The Deborah Rogers Foundation (DRF) is accepting applications for its 2021 Writers Awards. The £10,000 prize will go to “a first-time prose writer whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their work.” The deadline is July 1, 2021.

Applicants are to send between 15,000-20,000 words of a work of nonfiction or fiction that is in-progress, plus a synopsis of the manuscript and a brief bio. Only un-agented, unpublished work will be considered.

The DRF Writers Award was created in 2016 to honour the legacy of the British literary agent Deborah Rogers, whose “particular genius lay in identifying and supporting talented young people.” It is a biennial award.

Previous winners include Sharlene Teo, in its first year, for Ponti.In 2018, it went to Deepa Anappara, for Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line—Anappara is one of the judges this year. The Nigerian writer Pemi Aguda won it in 2020 for her novel-in-progress, “The Suicide Mothers.”

Joining Anappara on the judging panel is Colm Tóibín as chair, Anna James, and Ingrid Persaud.

A shortlist of three will be announced in November. The winner will be announced in December, in London. The shortlisted writers will be invited. The runners-up will receive £1,000 each.

Apply here.

Ernest Ogunyemi
Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí was a staff writer at Open Country Mag. His works have recently appeared/are forthcoming in AGNI, Joyland, No Tokens, Olongo Africa, The Dark, Fiyah, Agbowó, Southern Humanities Review, Minnesota Review, McNeese Review, Down River Road, and West Trade Review. He is the curator of The Fire That Is Dreamed of: The Young African Poets Anthology.

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