WELCOME TO THE MO SIEWCHARRAN PRIZE 2022
Hachette UK’s The Future Bookshelf has launched the Mo Siewcharran Prize for its third year to help discover unpublished fiction writers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
1st May 2022 – Submissions open
31st May 2022 – Submissions close
4th July 2022 – Longlist announced
10th September 2022 – Shortlist announced
September 2022 – Winner announced
Submissions are now closed. We will announce the longlist on the 4th July 2022.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries.
WHAT IS THE MO SIEWCHARRAN PRIZE?
The initiative, named in memory of Nielsen Book’s former director of marketing and communications, aims to nurture talent from under-represented backgrounds writing in English. Run as part of Hachette UK’s The Future Bookshelf scheme, the prize was launched in 2019.This year, the prize will be hosted by Quercus Books and in a change from previous years, we are looking for fiction writing in the crime and thriller genre specifically.
ABOUT QUERCUS BOOKS
Quercus is a young, dynamic award-winning publisher, that in just 15 years has already won Independent Publisher of the Year, Small Publisher of the Year and Publisher of the Year. We have eight imprints, (Quercus Fiction and Non-Fiction, Greenfinch, Jo Fletcher Books, Laurence King Publishing, MacLehose Press, Arcadia Books and riverrun), publishing an exciting and diverse range of authors, from established bestsellers such as Stieg Larsson, Peter May and Elly Griffiths through to up and coming new voices such as Layla F. Saad, Candice Brathwaite and Beth O’Leary. We are passionate about reaching readers, wherever they may be, to grow our authors’ readerships.
WHAT THE MO SIEWCHARRAN PRIZE LOOKS FOR
Entrants must be unagented and previously unpublished, aged 18 or over, resident in the UK and from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. Entry requirements are a 700-word synopsis of the plot of the novel, a list of the book’s characters and no more than 8,000 words – either the first three chapters or up to the first fifty pages – to be submitted by 31st May.
JUDGING AND PRIZES
The winner will receive £2,500 prize money plus,
- • Editorial feedback in the form of a 2–3-page editorial letter from a Quercus editor
- • A follow up one-hour editorial session with a Quercus editor (either online or in person)
- • Introductory meetings to at least 2 different literary agents
- • Introductory session with the Quercus rights team
- • Meetings with the Quercus marketing and publicity teams
The winner’s project will be taken forward to the next Quercus Acquisitions Meeting and considered for full publication with an advance against royalties*.
- Second place will receive £1,500 prize money plus,
• Editorial feedback in a 2-3 page letter from a Quercus editor
• A book hamper
Third place will receive £750 prize money plus,
- • A book hamper
- *We will give the winner’s project all due consideration during the Acquisitions process, although we cannot guarantee that the winner’s project will be published.
The first round will be judged by members of Hachette UK’s THRIVE employee network alongside employees from the different divisions of Hachette UK to produce a longlist. The shortlist, winner and runners-up will be judged by Cassie Browne and Stefanie Bierwerth, alongside winner of the 2021 prize Santanu Bhattacharya, literary agent Camilla Bolton, crime fiction critic Ayo Onatade and Ella Patel, co-chair of Hachette’s employee network THRIVE. The judging panel will also include two authors from Quercus, the No.1 bestselling author Elly Griffiths and debut author Amen Alonge.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why has the winner’s prize changed this year?
In previous years, the winner has received the automatic offer of a publishing deal, subject to contract. This year, our aim has been to give the winner a well-rounded entry into the publishing industry. Since one of our requirements is that all writers who submit are unagented, at the point of submission, the winner will have meetings with at least 2 literary agents. Additionally, the winner will also be invited to meet the Quercus rights team, the marketing team and the publicity team as well as receiving editorial feedback on their winning submission from a Quercus editor and a follow-up editorial session. The winner’s project will also be taken forward to a Quercus acquisitions meeting. This is the meeting where we confirm what and if we will offer on a book.
Hopefully, the winner is therefore able to meet as many of the teams from Quercus as possible, as well as have confirmed agent representation, before exploring publishing their project.
Additionally, the runner’s’ up prizes also includes written editorial feedback from a Quercus editor.
What do you mean by fiction in the crime and thriller genre?
For this prize, we would define crime and thriller as a novel that has a mystery, suspense or crime story within its plot. This can include stories which focus on police procedure, psychological thriller, historical crime, cosy crime, legal or action thriller, as well supernatural suspense. It does not have to have murder in the story. A sense of mystery, as well as thriller-like action, could also mean your novel is eligible.
What does unpublished mean?
For this prize, unpublished means you have never published (and are not under contract to publish) a full-length novel or self-published a full-length novel before.
Am I eligible?
You are eligible for this prize if you are over 18, a UK resident and from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. You must also be unagented and unpublished at the point of submission. Full Terms and Conditions are available here.
How do I submit?
Click on the Submittable icon on this landing page to submit your writing submission.
For more updates on The Mo Siewcharran Prize 2022, follow us on Twitter @MoPrize