Win £1,000 in the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Here is an opportunity to submit your work to the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, and you may become the lucky winner of £1,000. This literary competition by Wasafiriwhich is a magazine for international contemporary writing. The magazine has published pieces by African writers like Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ben Okri, Abdulrazak Gurnah, and Nadine Gordimer. With the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on writers, Wasafiri has extended the deadline for the “Queen Mary New Writing Prize” to June 15, 2020 at 17:00 BST.

The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is open to new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The competition has three categories: fiction, life writing, and poetry. The winner of each category will be awarded a £1,000 cash prize and be published by Wasafiri in print and online. 


1. The competition is open to any nationality and any age group.

2. The competition is open to anyone who has not published a book-length work in the genre that they are entering. However, if a writer has only self-published a book-length work, they are still eligible for the prize.

3. Work submitted must not have been previously published (excluding self-published work).

4. Eligibility depends on the submission remaining unpublished at the time of shortlisting.

5. The competition is not open to members of the Wasafiri Board or Wasafiri staff, or any individual involved in the administration of the prize.

6. Entries must be received at Wasafiri no later than 5pm BST on Monday 1 June 2020.

7. Failure to meet the conditions of entry will mean that a submission is automatically disqualified from the competition. Entry fee will not be refunded.

Format of Entries

8. No entry may exceed 3,000 words.

9. Work must be typed, in Times New Roman, font size 12, double-spaced, A4, and submitted as a .doc file (no PDFs).

10. The document must be saved with the title ‘Category of entry_Title of entry’, e.g. ‘Life Writing_Story of my Life’.

11. Do not write your name or provide any other form of identification on your manuscript or in the document title. All submissions will be considered anonymously.

12. Multiple poems in the same entry (up to three) must be included in the same document, but each poem must begin on a new page.

13. Manuscripts cannot be altered after submission.

This literary prize is supported by Queen Mary University of LondonRoutledge, and The Literary Consultancy

Click here for further eligibility and submission guidelines and click here to submit your entries.

About Wasafiri

Wasafiri has become the UK’s leading magazine for international contemporary writing. Launched in 1984, it is now renowned for publishing some of the world’s most distinguished writers including Chinua Achebe, Kamau Brathwaite, Anita and Kiran Desai, Sam Selvon, Nadine Gordimer, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Michael Ondaatje, Vikram Seth, Nayantara Sahgal, Gillian Slovo and Ben Okri amongst many others.

Its name stems from the Kiswahili word for ‘travellers’ which reflects the magazine’s longstanding engagement with cultural travelling, diverse histories and its continuing commitment to extending the established boundaries of literary culture. Brainchild of Founding Editor, Susheila Nasta, the first issue was launched at the University of Kent in 1984. One of its inaugural aims was to provide much needed literary and critical coverage of writers from African, Caribbean, Asian and Black British backgrounds who often struggled to get adequate attention in the mainstream press. The magazine played a pioneering role in reviewing the first novels and early poetry of writers who are now well-known, challenging the predominant assumption that their work would only be of ‘minority interest’.

Wasafiri remains wedded to the unbounded vision of writing across worlds with which it began. Having pioneered a shift in the literary, cultural and critical landscape, the magazine draws widely across modern culture and the arts, publishing a lively and informed mix of fiction, poetry, interviews, essays and reviews. In today’s increasingly divided world, the magazine’s original mission to provoke cross-cultural dialogue and provide a space for the publication of distinctive new work from across the globe is ever more vital. Continuing to introduce readers to the best in international writing and committed to promoting the freshest talents, it opens spaces for reading and writing across borders, imagining diverse possibilities for belonging.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge