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Stormzy announces #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize

SUPPORT: Stormzy

STORMZY’S #MERKY Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House's William Heinemann division, has announced a prize to “seek out and publish talented young writers from all backgrounds”.

The prize is launched in collaboration with The Good Literary Agency and First Story and they’re looking for unpublished writers aged between 16 and 30 who are currently a resident in the UK or Eire.

“If you have a manuscript you are working on, or an idea ready to be put onto paper, we want to hear from you,” said #Merky Books in a statement. “We are looking for writers telling the stories that are not being heard, and the stories that deserve to be read, whether in fiction, non-fiction or poetry.”

The #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize is open for submissions until April 12 and the winner will be selected by a panel of judges including Stormzy, writer Yrsa Daley-Ward, poet Kayo Chingonyi, Nikesh Shukla of The Good Literary Agency, Cornerstone m.d. Susan Sandon, and a further "special guest" to be announced.

A shortlist will be revealed on May 2 with the winner crowned on June 6. They will receive representation from The Good Literary Agency and a #Merky Books publishing contract.

Stormzy said: “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.’

To apply for the prize, visit Penguin UK’s website.

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