The SI Leeds Literary Prize

Welcome to the biennial prize for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women resident in the UK aged 18 years and over.

welcome to SI Leeds - Mahsuda and Kerry

The 2014 Prize winner, Mahsuda Snaith, with head judge Kerry Young

We are currently judging the 2016 Prize which will be awarded at Ilkley Literature Festival on Wednesday 12 October.  Please join us! The 2016 short list has been announced and extracts from shortlisted manuscripts will be available online shortly.

The winner of the 2014 Prize was announced at a memorable award ceremony as part of the 2014 Ilkley Literature Festival: Mahsuda Snaith won the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2014 for The Constellation of Ravine Roy. Mahsuda has recently signed a two book deal with Transworld for her winning manuscript and a further book. Season Butler won 2nd prize for Hanging from the Hammer of the Bell, and Anita Sivakumaran won 3rd prize for The Queen.  The SI Readers’ Choice award, chosen from the shortlist by some 20 SI members, went to Kit de Waal for Blue in Green.  Kit de Waal has subsequently signed a three book deal with Penguin and her first book, My Name is Leon, is now available.  Many congratulations to all our winners and our wonderful shortlist, whose readings at the event demonstrated real quality and engaging voices.

The prize has been created and run by Soroptimist International of Leeds, in partnership with two well established and highly regarded literary organisations, the Ilkley Literature Festival and independent publishers Peepal Tree Press.  The prize aims to act as a loudspeaker for Black and Asian women’s voices, and a platform to discover exciting new talent, from a group largely under-represented on our bookshelves.  The Prize works closely with a range of other established literary partners to enable increased support for our winning writers, including ArvonThe Literary Consultancy, and New Writing North.

In the words of our patron, Bidisha:

“The prize is a testament to the importance and manifest talent of women and a tribute to the gift of cultural, national, ethnic and linguistic diversity. The prize is important and necessary but, more than that, it is introduced to the world as an act of joy, happiness and the discovery of new work. Join us in celebration.”

Find out more about the Prize’s judges, its patrons and partners.

The winner of the 2012 SI Leeds Literary Prize was Minoli Salgado for A Little Dust on the Eyes.  Minoli’s book is now available from Peepal Tree Press and was longlisted for the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian literature.