The Future Worlds Prize for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of Colour is now open for submissions from unpublished writers of colour living in the UK and Ireland.
The prize aims to find new talent based in the UK writing in the SFF space, from magical realism and space operas to dystopia and more. The prize is funded by author Ben Aaronovitch and actor Adjoa Andoh.
This year the Future Worlds Prize is also increasing its prize money for all those shortlisted. The winner will now receive £4,500, up from £4,000 in previous years, while the runner-up’s prize money increases from £2,000 to £2,500. The remaining six shortlisted writers will each receive £850, up from £800.
All eight writers also receive mentoring from one of the prize’s publishing partners: Bloomsbury, Gollancz, Hodderscape, Orbit and Tor.
The Future Worlds Prize closes for entries at 23:59 GMT on Monday, January 29, 2024.
This year’s judges are:
- 2021 winner M. H. Ayinde
- Novelist Isabelle Dupuy
- Quantum physicist turned best-selling author Femi Fadugba,
- Literary agent and founder of Originate Literary Agency, Natalie Jerome
- Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Tade Thompson.
M. H. Ayinde was the 2021 winner of the Future Worlds Prize. Her debut epic fantasy trilogy will be published by Orbit Books, beginning in spring 2025 with A Song of Legends Lost. Her short fiction has appeared in FIYAH Literary Magazine, F&SF, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and elsewhere. She is a runner, a lapsed martial artist, and a screen time enthusiast. She lives in London with three generations of her family and their Studio Ghibli obsession.
Isabelle Dupuy’s first novel Living the Dream was shortlisted for the Diverse Book Awards and was recommended in the Guardian as a summer read 2021. Isabelle has written on topics ranging from motherhood to becoming a writer and a British national and has been published in the New York Times, Bad Form Review, The Big Issue North, On the Hill, Black Ballad, the Bookseller and more. She was a reader for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021 and was the chairwoman for the London Library’s Emerging Writers’ Competition 2020. Isabelle is currently writing her second book, Maker of Men, a historical novel based on the true life of Haitian politician and ultimate survivor Joute Lachenais.
Femi Fadugba is a quantum physicist turned BCG consultant turned best-selling author of The Upper World, soon to be on Netflix, with a long-standing passion for STEM education. A sequel to The Upper World, titled The Mirror World, will be released in 2025.
Natalie Jerome is the founder of Originate Literary Agency (OLA), a multi-media agency representing a diverse range of writers, creatives and original content creators making change through storytelling. Clients include the actor David Harewood; comedian, writer, actor, philanthropist and co-founder of Comic Relief, Sir Lenny Henry; World Boxing Champion and Britain’s youngest Olympic medallist Amir Khan; and venture capitalist, entrepreneur and technology executive Eric Collins.
Tade Thompson is best known for Rosewater, The Murders of Molly Southbourne, and Far from the Light of Heaven. He writes books, short stories, and screenplays. He is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nommo Award, among others, and finalist for the Hugo, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon Award, among others. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives and works in the UK. His background is in medicine, psychiatry, and anthropology. He is an occasional visual artist.
The Future World Prize’s most recent winner is Mahmud El Sayed, with his novel What the Crew Wants, set on the city-ship Safina, 200 years into its journey to establish a new home for humanity. When the generation ship unexpectedly crashes out of warp, the crew faces their biggest test yet.
Inaugural winner Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson’s first novel The Principle of Moments is published this month by Gollancz, while Ayinde’s debut A Song of Legends Lost, which won the 2021 prize under its former title A Shadow in Chains, will be published in 2025 by Orbit.
Future Worlds Prize was founded by bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch in 2020, and was previously named the Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award. The prize is financially supported by Aaronovitch and Bridgerton actor Andoh, with additional support from its publishing partners. It is administered by Future Worlds Prize CIC, a not-for-profit organization.
[Based on a press release.]