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Announcing the shortlisted writers of the 9th annual Creative Future Writers’ Award

21 July 2022

This year is the 9th annual Creative Future Writers’ Award (CFWA), the UK’s only national writing competition and development programme for all underrepresented writers. The Award celebrates exceptional writing from people who traditionally lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, identity, health or social circumstance.

Today, (21 July 2022) thirty-six writers from a wide range of working class, LGTBQIA+, and Global Majority backgrounds have been shortlisted for the prize.

Entrants were invited to submit work on the theme ‘How It Started’ in two categories, prose and poetry. The shortlisted pieces explore sexuality, language and migration, how the world might end and what happens after, pirates and angels in the shower, Scottish Chinese restaurants, and the 1980s miners’ strike.

The judges for the 2022 CFWA are best-selling novelist Dorothy Koomson, and 2021 T.S. Eliot prize winner Joelle Taylor, alongside Aki Schilz (The Literary Consultancy) and Sarala Estruch (Poetry School).

This year the competition attracted a record number of entries, with almost 1400 unpublished writers across the UK entering their work–an increase of 186% on 2018. A third of the entrants had never entered a literary competition before. More than half of the entrants noted mental health issues as a barrier to access. The competition saw a third of entrants from a Global Majority background, with 45% from a working class background, and 40% from the LGBTQIA+ community. Two-thirds faced two or more barriers to access.

The winners of the Creative Future Writers’ Award 2022 will be announced on 13 September. All twelve winners will read their winning work and will be celebrated at a special showcase evening as part of the London Literature Festival on 22 October. The winners will share over £12,000 in cash and development prizes and will be published alongside Dorothy Koomson & Joelle Taylor in ‘How It Started’ our anthology for 2022.

THE FULL SHORTLISTS ARE:

POETRY:

Lerah Mae Barcenilla, To Love and Be Loved as a Language Primer  

Viktoria Dahill, Texel, Beltex, Cross 

Karen Downs-Barton, Framed by Woodgrain 

Jay Farley, I wish we’d won the Miners’ Strike 

Arden Fitzroy, To the Performer Hesitating in the Wings 

Dillon Jaxx, Gaynesis 

V.M.R. MacDonald, Trick No Treat 

Jay Mitra, Pirates  

Adriano Noble, I did not have chlamydia and was not pregnant, godbless  

Oluwaseun Olayiwola, There is nothing like that black voice!  

Helen Price, From Dr. Kanner’s office  

Carlos Mauricio Rojas, the home secretary’s morning routine 

Lotte Rosier, Don’t Start With the Weather  

Nnadi Samuel, A Glossary of Artillery Terms 

Karishma Sangtani, PAPEETA 

Celestine Stilwell, 6 weeks. 

Gaston Tourn, I’m tired of being a foreigner 

Dina Jane Walker, Black, with a dash of black 

PROSE:

Yaa Adansi-Pipim, Life, Interrupted 

Tara Anegada, Valentine’s Day 

Jack Barnaby, The Transcendence of Dawson Oppenheimer 

K Devan, Southport 

Kym Deyn, The Seraphim 

Anne Rosario Azada Elicano-Shields, Twenty-Four Answers to the Life in the U.K. Citizenship Exam  

Mary Fitzpatrick, The Magic Bus 

Kathy Floyd, Needs Must

Alice Graham, Abomination 

Alex Joynes, Fledglings 

Martha Lane, Radgie 

Hannah Caitlyn Lee, The Kam Sun  

Yvonne McLeod, Flibbertigibbet 

Caragh Medlicott, The Ward 

Olivia Mark, FISH

C. Castle, In Plain Sight

Shagufta Sharmeen Tania, In The Soup 

Archie Woolls, As The World Caves In 

Matt Freidson, Creative Future Deputy Director says:

“This year’s entries were exceptionally strong, with a really diverse range of entrants, subjects, styles and approaches. We’re really grateful to everyone who submitted and enjoyed reading them all.”

Since its inception in 2013 CFWA stays in regular contact with all 96 award winners – creating supportive, nurturing relationships that enable underrepresented writers to thrive, build on the confidence garnered as a result of their award, and develop their careers. Previous winners have gone on to secure publication and win notable competitions. Click here to find out more about their success.

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