The winner of the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize has been announced. Find out more.

2024 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

For 15 years, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize has awarded some of the most exciting new voices in life writing, poetry, and fiction from around the world. We are pleased to share that the 2024 edition of the prize, in the 40th anniversary year of the magazine, is now open for submissions until 5pm BST on 1 July 2024.

Representing more of the globe than any other prize of its kind, the prize supports writers who have not published book-length works, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The winners of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication in Wasafiri magazine. All winners and shortlisted writers will be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (dependent on eligibility), and a conversation with The Good Literary Agency to discuss their career progression, as well as a one-year print subscription to Wasafiri. 

Past winners and shortlistees of the New Writing Prize include the likes of Akwaeke Emezi, Caleb Femi, and Louise Kennedy, who have gone on to score deals with major international publishing houses such as Penguin, Peepal Tree Press, Bloomsbury and Hachette, and to be shortlisted for and win prizes including the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Forward Prizes, and the Bocas Poetry Prize, among many others. You can read more about the 2023 winners here and read the winning pieces in our forthcoming spring issue, Wasafiri 117: ‘The State of the Industry’.

This year’s multi-award-winning judges are Margaret Busby (Chair), Cristina Rivera Garza (Life Writing), Meena Kandasamy (Poetry), and Isabel Waidner (Fiction).    

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Enquiries about submissions should be directed to Wasafiri.  Please always refer to their website for complete details and information.

Please note, this competition is run by Wasafiri, not the Commonwealth Foundation.