The Future Worlds Prize for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of Colour is now open for submissions from unpublished writers of colour based in the UK and Ireland.
The prize is now in its third year, and is funded by author Ben Aaronovitch and Bridgerton actor Adjoa Andoh.
Future Worlds Prize for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of Colour aims to find new talent writing in the SFF space, from magical realism and space operas to dystopia and more. The winner will receive a prize of £4,000, the runner-up £2,000 and up to six additional shortlisted authors will each receive £800. All shortlisted writers, the runner-up and the winner will also receive mentoring from one of the prize’s publishing partners.
Submission will be taken until 23:59 GMT on Monday, February 6, 2023.
The 2021 prize was won by M. H. Ayinde, for her story A Shadow in Chains. The runner-up was Salma Ibrahim for her story Frankincense.
The prize began taking entries today, the day before NaNoWriMo begins. Throughout November, to mark NaNoWriMo and inspire writers, the Future Worlds Prize will be sharing writing tips and advice on its social media from authors of colour in the SFF space. These authors include Tade Thompson, Vaishnavi Patel, Sue Lynn Tan and Saara El-Arifi, as well as previous shortlistees of the prize.
Ben Aaronovitch said: “It is hugely satisfying to see Future Worlds Prize going into its third year and settling into its place in the busy literary awards scene. Since we launched in 2020, we’ve been blown away by the imagination and storytelling powers of all of our entrants, and delighted to see our shortlisted writers working with their publishing mentors and going on to secure agents. We knew when we started that there would be some undiscovered gems, but were truly unprepared for the rich seam of talent from writers of colour that we’ve struck.
“None of this would be possible, of course, without our amazing publishing partners, and we’re looking forward to working with even more of them this time, but I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about this yet…”
Adjoa Andoh said: “In the third year of Future Worlds Prize we hope to further increase the pool of writers of colour choosing to work in science fiction and fantasy. We encourage those on the journey to first publication to bring their work to us, to apply for this prize, receive expert support and advice and flourish in their chosen field to the great benefit of all of the readership.”
The prize was founded in 2020 by Ben Aaronovitch and Gollancz. The 2020 prize was won by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson for The Principle of Moments, a space-based adventure story. Jikiemi-Pearson has since secured a publishing deal with Gollancz, and her debut novel will be released in 2023.
In 2021 it was rebranded as Future Worlds Prize for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of Colour, and became a community interest company in 2022, co-directed by Sarah Shaffi and Andy Ryan.
[Based on a press release.]