UK publisher Gollancz and Rivers of London author Ben Aaronovitch have teamed up for a brand-new writing award to champion underrepresented BAME (Black, Asian, and/or minority ethnic) voices in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror. The Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award will provide both mentorship opportunities and cash prizes (up to £4,000) to winning authors from the UK and Ireland.
The award is in partnership with The Good Literary Agency and NaNoWriMo, and will accept submissions from October 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020. A shortlist of winners comes out next spring, and the winner will be chosen by a panel of authors and other industry professionals in the summer. According to the press release, “writing advice and insights aimed at demystifying the publishing process” will be made available during the submissions period.
“The current lack of representation in science fiction and fantasy is no secret and it has to change,” said Gollancz Publisher Anne Clarke in a statement. “As modern speculative fiction publishers, we at Gollancz have a responsibility not just to say our doors are open, but to actively seek out and support writers whose backgrounds and experience have historically been—and still are—under-represented in our genre. I hope this award will encourage writers who have perhaps not always felt welcome in the world of science fiction and fantasy publishing and I’m looking forward to discovering exciting new writing talent within the submissions.”