4thWrite Prize 2023: Back of House by Esther Okorocha

Back of House: “The Chef de Cuisine of The Mating Clinic” The first thing that Bisi noticed as she walked through the doors of the Kensington branch ofThe Mating Clinic was the smell. Her mother had told her that years ago, when the clinics were part ofthe publicly… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2023: Micromanageress by Rosie Chen

What I loved most about Florence, besides her intoxicating smell, was her clothes. Frombehind my ergonomically-adjusted computer monitor, I waited impatiently for her tounbutton her pea coat, peel open her leather trench. I arrived fifteen minutes before ourworking day officially started, at nine o’clock. She floated into the office between… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2023: Bleach by Liberty Martin

Kansas, 1965 Whenever they would wheel out Miss Stain Away at the Easter parade I would think to myself, Icould do that. Half them white women ain’t even that pretty, they just look the part. Blonde hair,blue eyes, long stick legs. Their bodies ain’t got no real shape, they ain’t… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2022: Ink by Olivia Douglass

Wrinkled clear film around a forearm. A menthol super-king cigarette is carried to Amy’s mouth. She takes a long, considered drag then exhales a smoke stream into cold air. It’s October and the park is dying. Her other arm wraps tightly around her waist, elbow resting on the… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2022: Sairish by Ruksana Abdul-Majid

Behba does not see him at first. True, there is little light inside the baithak, the windows still shuttered at that time of the morning. Left alone she likes to set the room to rights by half-light. To straighten the furniture, to shake out and re-seat the cushions,… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2022: Plenty Meat by Vanessa Ezeh

Bloody meat is still fresh, Aunty Patience was saying, and it will make the soup tasty, ehn? Desi nodded. Pastor John will enjoy his efo riro tomorrow, Aunty Patience continued. There will be plenty meat. Desi, back erect, hands folded in her lap, nodded again, and tried to… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2022: Half a Clementine by Rachel Imrie

The night before her first day at school, I laid out her uniform on the chair by her bed. I didn’t worry about waking her. Iona sleeps so deeply these days. She sleeps all the time. I went into her wardrobe and rifled through the yellowing bridesmaid dress… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2022: Kamal and the Bad Superimposition by Zui Kumar-Reddy

6:37 am and he is up on his toes; aching back, balding head, right hand casually combing testicular foliage, left hand posed introspectively on left hip bone, for balance—of posture and conversation—and he screams (!!!),              —Have you starched the sheets?             Wife of two years turns… Read More

4thWrite Prize 2022

Welcome to the Guardian and 4th Estate 4thWrite Prize, a competition open to Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers living in the UK or Ireland who are 18 and above. We want to read your story, whatever it may be. This is the fifth year of the prize. Over the… Read More