Wasafiri is a magazine for international contemporary writing, known for publishing pieces by African writers like Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ben Okri, Abdulrazak Gurnah, and Nadine Gordimer.

In acknowledgment of the disruption that coronavirus has caused to many writers’ schedules and productivity, Wasafiri has generously extended their deadline for the “Queen Mary New Writing Prize” to June 15, 2020 at 17:00 BST.

The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize supports new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality or background. The competition is divided into three categories: fiction, life writing, and poetry.

The winner of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and will be published by Wasafiri in print and online. See below and click here for further eligibility and submission guidelines:


1. The competition is open to any nationality and any age group.

2. The competition is open to anyone who has not published a book-length work in the genre that they are entering. However, if a writer has only self-published a book-length work, they are still eligible for the prize.

3. Work submitted must not have been previously published (excluding self-published work).

4. Eligibility depends on the submission remaining unpublished at the time of shortlisting.

5. The competition is not open to members of the Wasafiri Board or Wasafiri staff, or any individual involved in the administration of the prize.

6. Entries must be received at Wasafiri no later than 5pm BST on Monday 1 June 2020.

7. Failure to meet the conditions of entry will mean that a submission is automatically disqualified from the competition. Entry fee will not be refunded.

Format of Entries

8. No entry may exceed 3,000 words.

9. Work must be typed, in Times New Roman, font size 12, double-spaced, A4, and submitted as a .doc file (no PDFs).

10. The document must be saved with the title ‘Category of entry_Title of entry’, e.g. ‘Life Writing_Story of my Life’.

11. Do not write your name or provide any other form of identification on your manuscript or in the document title. All submissions will be considered anonymously.

12. Multiple poems in the same entry (up to three) must be included in the same document, but each poem must begin on a new page.

13. Manuscripts cannot be altered after submission.

The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is supported by Queen Mary University of LondonRoutledge, and The Literary Consultancy.

Click here to submit your entries!