#Merky Books is an award-winning imprint launched in 2018 by Stormzy and Penguin Random House UK with a clear ambition to publish books that will own – and change – the mainstream. Our aim is to publish the stories that will allow a new generation of writers and readers across the UK to see themselves represented more regularly within the pages of a book.

This year we’re excited to launch the fourth #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, an annual writing competition that is open to young, underrepresented, and unpublished writers from across the UK and ROI.

"I know too many talented writers that don’t always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen and 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 were 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"


Previous winners of the #Merky New Writers' Prize

What's on offer?

The winner of the New Writers’ Prize will receive a publishing contract with #Merky Books. All shortlisted writers will also be invited to our Writers’ Camp, where they will be able to participate in writing workshops, panel talks, editorial one-to-ones, and meet the #Merky Books team.

The prize will also aim to provide all applicants the tools, information and access they need to develop their ideas, progress their writing and set off on the path to publication.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for unpublished and un-agented writers aged between 18 and 35 who are currently a resident in the UK or ROI. If you have a manuscript you are working on, or an idea ready to be put onto paper, we want to hear from you.

This year, we are looking for the next Bolu Babalola, Cecile Pin and Caleb Azumah Nelson and are focusing on fiction only, and unfortunately we will not be accepting non-fiction, poetry or children’s books this year.

How to apply

Fill in the application form by midnight on Tuesday 29th August, 2023.

We are asking for a 200 word synopsis and 1,500 word extract for works of fiction.

Any questions? Please see our FAQs here.

Application form

Submit by midnight on Tuesday 29th August 2023

Apply NOW
The word FAQs in block yellow writing on a swirly black and white backgroud.

#Merky Books New Writers’ Prize: FAQs

When is the #Merky New Writers' Prize 2023 open until? What are the submission guidelines for the #Merky New Writers' Prize 2023? Those and more frequently asked questions here.

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