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 previous years, we have been overwhelmed by the quality of the stories we have found and the impact the prize has had. Last year’s winner was Gift Nyoni with his story, The Ritual Seat of the King.
We have had some extremely exciting writers longlisted and shortlisted for the prize who have gone on to have their work published, including the likes of Bolu Babalola, author Love in Colour published by Headline, Guy Gunaratne, author of In Our Mad and Furious City published by Tinder Press, Kasim Ali, author of Good Intentions published by 4th Estate, Gurnaik Johal, author of We Move published by Serpent’s Tail and Kit Fan, author of Diamond Hill published by Dialogue. We are incredibly proud of the prize here at 4th Estate and it is our hope that it continues to open up new opportunities for writers of colour.
The winner will receive £1,000, a one-day publishing workshop at 4th Estate and publication of their story on the Guardian website. After the winner is announced, the full shortlist will be published on 4thestate.co.uk.
Our judges this year are Tash Aw, critically acclaimed author and twice longlisted for the Booker Prize, Sara Collins, author and winner of the 2019 Costa First Novel Award, Leah Davis, host and founder of Capital XTRA Book Club podcast, Catherine Cho, literary agent at Paper Literary, Justine Jordan, Fiction Editor at the Guardian and Kishani Widyaratna, Editorial Director at 4th Estate.
The deadline for submissions is 14th August 2022, the longlist will be announced on 21st September 2022, the shortlist on 19th October 2022, and the winner at the start of November (date tbc) at a prize ceremony in London.
Please ensure you read all of the terms and conditions before submitting, but if you have any questions then simply emails 4thWritePrize@harpercollins.co.uk and someone will get back to you. And don’t forget to join the conversation online using the hashtag #4thWritePrize.
We can’t wait to read your story!
Gift was designed in Britain and assembled in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. During his first eight years in the UK he lived underground as an undocumented asylum-seeker, seeking refuge in libraries and trying to write, something he aspires to do well. He now lives out in the open in London, and is working on his first novel. He’s interested in identity, trauma, memory, and notions of home.
The Ritual Seat of the King
The Rhodesian civil war ends and hope abounds in the new Zimbabwe, but when David’s father returns to the family home it soon becomes apparent that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and the young boy’s fascination soon turns into revulsion.
Amaan is the author of the poetry collection At Hajj (Penned in the Margins, 2017). His poems have appeared in various publications including The Guardian, Poetry Review and Poetry London. He is a Ledbury Poetry Critic 2021 and a doctoral student at Royal Holloway, University of London. Follow him at @hyder_amaan on Twitter.
Postpositions comprises thirty reflections by an unnamed narrator concerning inheritance, queerness and late nineties-early noughties television.
Sulaxana is an English teacher, writer and single mother. Runner up in the 2019 Bridport Short Story prize, she has been long listed for the 2020 BBC Short Story Award, the Bristol Short Story prize, the 2019 ‘Spread the Word’ Life Writing prize and the Asian Writer short story competition. She was mentored by Courttia Newland for the 2017 Almasi League and is currently working on her first novel.
On the eve of a dinner party, a young woman encounters the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war.
Nicola works in architecture in London, having lived between Malaysia and the UK. Her creative non-fiction has been published in Epoch Press. She writes both short fiction and full-length novels, and recently graduated from Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course. A Malaysian setting inspires her work, and she is drawn to magic realism and mythology in her writing. Follow her at @NicolaSheppey on Twitter and Instagram.
A young woman is placed in postpartum confinement and feels a malevolent presence threatening to invade.
Laura is a writer and editor based in Birmingham. She is mixed race, with two Jamaican grandfathers and two English grandmothers, which always makes for an interesting conversation about identity. She has an MA in Literary Studies from Aberystwyth University. In 2020, she was a finalist in the George Floyd short story competition and shortlisted for the Leicester Writes competition. Follow her at @LauraJBlake on Twitter.
Home Is Not Here
When she was seven years old, Birdie Brown left Jamaica with her parents to begin a new life in England. Now, at the age of seventy, she faces being deported back to a country she barely remembers.
Inigo was born in Bedford, raised in Stevenage and currently resides in North London. He graduated in Writing and English literature from Anglia Ruskin University. His poem, Beautiful Tasting Words was a winner in the ‘Edith Sitwell’ Challenge on The Young Poet’s Network. His essays have been published in The Metro, Netflix: Bigger Picture, Wear Your Voice Magazine, Racebaitr and Black Youth Project. Follow him at @saveinigo on Twitter and Instagram.
Unstuck in time, A Black boy raised in a homogeneously white commuter-town hurtles between libidinal incidents that have shaped him.
For readers of Hideous Kinky, Dadland and Bad Blood; the astonishing, beguiling story of Sarah Aspinall’s harum scarum childhood, and a love letter to a woman who defied convention to live a life less ordinary.Read more…