The Mo Siewcharran Prize is a new annual award for unpublished fiction writers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
Run by Changing the Story, Hachette UK’s Diversity and Inclusivity initiative, it hopes to discover and nurture talent from under-represented backgrounds writing in English and to give those writers the opportunity to be published by Hachette UK, a leading publishing house on the global stage.
Mo Siewcharran had a wonderful career in publishing and was much loved by friends and colleagues across the industry. She was the Director of Marketing and Communications for sixteen years at Nielsen Book and was instrumental as a behind-the-scenes figure. Prior to working at Nielsen Book, Mo worked at Penguin Random House, where she met her husband John Seaton, whose generosity has helped to establish the prize.
Mo spent her life with books, and this prize has been created to honour her memory as a woman of colour in the publishing industry who wanted to set an example to the next generation.
1st Prize – £2,500 prize money plus the opportunity of a publishing deal* with Dialogue Books
2nd Prize – £1,500 prize money plus a hamper of books
3rd Prize – £750 prize money plus a hamper of books
*subject to contract
The first round of judges are members from the THRIVE Network – Hachette UK’s BAME Employee Network.
Joining us to select the shortlist, winner and runners-up will be:
Candice Carty-Williams Author of Queenie
Guy Gunaratne Author of In Our Mad and Furious City
Catherine Cho Literary agent at Curtis Brown
Sharmaine Lovegrove Publisher of Dialogue Books and Co-Chair of Changing the Story
Victoria Cheung Co-Chair of the THRIVE Network
What we are looking for
We’d love to hear from you if you’re a writer with a great idea and have the first three chapters of a novel completed.
Do submit if you’re 18 or over, from a BAME background, resident in the UK and haven’t already got a book deal with a UK publisher.
We are looking for compelling, unique, relatable novels that tell us something about the world we live in and the breadth of human experiences. We love engaging narratives, compelling characters and developed themes, and welcome experimental fiction, literary tones, commercial concepts and writing in the genres of sci-fi and fantasy.
We are open to all adult fiction genres but we will not accept poetry, short story collections, non-fiction or books for young adults.
How to Enter
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 first fifty pages) of the novel.
All entries must be in English and must be double spaced.
Please ensure that the file you upload is a PDF or Word document and that it is named in this format: title of the book followed by your full name.
** The synopsis is a full outline of the book’s themes and plot, including spoilers and twists. It is important to show the full story arc and how the characters develop over the course of the book. Full terms and conditions can be found here.
30 April 2019 – Submissions Open
29 July 2019 – Submissions Close
6 September 2019 – Longlist chosen by THRIVE announced
22 October 2019 – Shortlist announced
4 November 2019 – Winner and Runners-Up announced at a ceremony at Carmelite House, London EC4Y 0DZ, co-hosted by Nielsen Book