The following manuscripts are shortlisted for the 2020 SI Leeds Literary Prize:
- A boy called Silence – Nana Afua A Pierre
- Bat Monkey and Other Stories – Aisha Phoenix
- The Funeral Cryer – Wenyan Lu
- The Good Twin – Sumana Khan
- The Sun Sets in the East – L M Dillsworth
- Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love – Huma Qureshi
Congratulations to all our shortlisted writers! Read on to find out more about our shortlisted writers and to read excerpts of their work. New for this year, we have video links to our writers reading their excerpts – please see below for individual links. Please do support our writers and hear more from them at events this autumn, starting with Untitled’s event on Saturday 5 September and the Home by 10 event on Sunday 4 October.
Nana Afua A Pierre
“I am passionate about bringing marginal African histories into the mainstream.”
Nana Afua Pierre is a British-Ghanaian writer and artist. She lived in Ghana between the ages of 6 and 19. While living in Ghana, she attended a Pan-African secondary school in Tema. Later she studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent, Canterbury. “A boy called Silence” is Nana Afua’s first piece of literary fiction. Prior to its completion, she illustrated the children’s book “A is for Accra” by Ekow Pierre. She currently lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and two children. Read an excerpt of A boy called Silence.
Watch Nana Afua Pierre reading an excerpt from A boy called Silence:
Aisha Phoenix writes short stories and poetry and she is completing a speculative fiction novel. Her work has appeared in publications including: Peepal Tree Press’s Filigree anthology, the National Flash Fiction Day anthology, the Bath Flash Fiction anthology, Strange Horizons and Litro USA Online. Stories from her collection Bat Monkey and Other Storieshave been longlisted for the Guardian/4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize and the Bath Short Story Award. Her work has been longlisted for Bath and Fish flash fiction prizes. She has an MA in Creative Writing (Birkbeck) and a PhD in Sociology (Goldsmiths). She tweets as @FirebirdN4. Read an excerpt of Tapestry, from Bat Monkey and Other Stories.
Watch Aisha Phoenix reading an excerpt from The She Dragon from Bat Monkey and Other Stories:
A native of Shanghai, Wenyan Lu moved to the UK in 2006. She teaches Mandarin Chinese and English as a second language in Cambridge.
Wenyan holds a Master of Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. Her historical novel The Martyr’s Hymn was longlisted for The SI Leeds Literary Prize in 2018 and Bridport First Novel Prize in 2019.
Wenyan is also a literary translator. Her most notable translation project is Robert Macfarlane’s award-winning Mountains of the Mind.
When she is not writing or teaching, Wenyan enjoys cooking and listening to Leonard Cohen. Read an excerpt of The Funeral Cryer.
Watch Wenyan Lu reading an excerpt from The Funeral Cryer:
Sumana Khan is from Bangalore, India, and lives in Reading. She took a break from her corporate career to pursue her academic and literary interests. She now has a laughable bank balance, a MLitt in Creative Writing (Uni of Glasgow), and a PhD (Psychology) (Uni of Derby). She published her debut novel ‘The Revenge of Kaivalya’ (horror/historical thriller) in 2013, followed by a paranormal collection ‘Encounters’ in 2015 (both published in India). Her short stories have been longlisted/shortlisted/highly commended in various competitions —2019 Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett short story competition; 2016 Just Write competition; 2016 Manchester Short Story competition, and a publication in the Writing Magazine.
She’s no stranger to self-isolation. Read an excerpt of The Good Twin.
Watch Sumana Khan reading an excerpt from The Good Twin:
L M Dillsworth
L M Dillsworth lives and works in London. In 2018 she graduated from Royal Holloway’s MA in Creative Writing with distinction and last year, she won a place on the inaugural London Library Emerging Writers Programme. Her novel The Sun Sets in the East tells the story of James Wharton, a Victorian everyman in search of redemption, who leads the hunt for a lost missionary in 1830s India. Read an excerpt of The Sun Sets in the East.
Watch L M Dillsworth reading an excerpt from The Sun Sets in the East:
Huma Qureshi started her writing career as a journalist for The Observer and The Guardian, but her heart has always been in creative writing. This year, she won the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition and was long listed in the Brick Lane bookshop short story prize; last year, she came second in the Benedict Kiely short story prize. Her memoir, How We Met, will be published in January 2021 with Elliott & Thompson. She is now writing her first novel. Read an excerpt of Waterlogged, from Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love.
Hear Huma Qureshi reading an excerpt of Waterlogged, from Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love: