Hodderscape to host Mo Siewcharran Prize 2024 (ANNOUNCEMENT)
Hodderscape to host Mo Siewcharran Prize 2024 with a focus on fantasy books
We are thrilled to take part in this exciting announcement from Hodderscape today – the science fiction and fantasy imprint from Hodder & Stoughton will be hosting this year’s Mo Siewcharran prize, with its focus on fantasy books. Read on for the official statement:
This year’s iteration of the Mo Siewcharran Prize will be hosted by Hodderscape, Hodder & Stoughton’s science fiction and fantasy imprint, and focus exclusively on writers in the fantasy genre, covering both young adult and adult fiction.
Launched in 2019, the Mo Siewcharran Prize, named in memory of Nielsen BookData’s former director of marketing and communications, was co-founded and sponsored by her husband John Seaton and aims to nurture talent from underrepresented backgrounds writing in English.
With Nielsen BookData as co-sponsors, it is run as part of Hachette UK’s The Future Bookshelf, the home for all Hachette UK’s creative writing programmes, and is hosted by different divisions of the publisher each year. Last year it was hosted by Hachette Children’s Group and focused on writers and writer-illustrators in the picture book genre. Mayo Agard-Olubo won for Kid Rex vs the Dastardly Dust Bunnies.
Submissions will open on 1st February 2024. Entrants must be unagented at the time of entry and previously unpublished by a publisher, aged 18 or over, resident in the UK and from a Black, Asian, mixed heritage or minority ethnic background.
Entry requirements are the first 10,000 words of the novel and a synopsis of no more than 700 words to be submitted by 1st May 2024 to the competition website. The judges will be looking for a well-written, page-turning piece of writing that shows a strong sense of story and atmosphere. It should introduce its reader to a memorable cast of characters and a compelling plot. The novel must sit firmly in the fantasy genre (this can include romantasy, cosy fantasy, dark academia, epic fantasy, low fantasy, contemporary fantasy, portal fantasy etc.) and is open to books aimed at young adults and adults.
The winner will receive £2,500 prize money plus a detailed letter from a Hodderscape editor giving feedback on their entry and a follow-up online mentoring session. They will also have introductory meetings with at least two different literary agents, an introductory session with the Hodder & Stoughton rights team, meetings with the Hodder & Stoughton marketing and publicity teams, and a ticket to London Book Fair 2025.
The winner’s entry will also be taken forward to a Hodder & Stoughton acquisitions meeting and considered for publication with a competitive advance against royalties. One runner up will receive £1,500 prize money, plus a detailed letter from a Hodderscape editor giving feedback on their entry, and a hamper of Hodderscape books. A second runner up will receive £750 prize money, as well as a hamper of Hodderscape books.
John Seaton said: “From fiction to crime, from illustrated children’s books to fantasy for adults and young adults. Fantasy is this year’s destination for the Mo Siewcharran Prize. Mo herself, ever open-minded, would have loved the eclectic journeying of the prize. I love it, too, it gives the prize something very distinctive. Long may its travels within Hachette continue.”
Molly Powell, Hodderscape’s Publishing Director, said: “Hodderscape is truly delighted to be hosting the Mo Siewcharran Prize this year. We have an ongoing commitment to ensuring our portfolio of fantasy writers is as diverse as possible, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to continue to nurture talent from under-represented backgrounds. We are so excited to focus 2024 on the genre of the moment – fantasy – and to discover some amazing new writers.”
The first round will be judged by members of Hodder & Stoughton and Hachette UK’s THRIVE employee network alongside employees from the different divisions of Hachette UK to produce a longlist of up to twelve entries.
A shortlist of up to six writers will be chosen by Powell, alongside Natasha Qureshi, Commissiong Editor at Hodderscape, Saara El-Arifi (Sunday Times bestselling author of The Final Strife), Sangu Mandanna (author of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches), literary agent Edwina de Charnace of MMB Creative, founder and CEO of FairyLoot Anissa de Gomery, and the co-chair of Hachette UK’s THRIVE network Feyi Oyesanya. The winner and runners-up will be selected by the judges from the shortlisted entries.
About Hodder & Stoughton:
We are a commercially minded, enthusiastic, collaborative team that puts the reader at the heart of everything we do. With 150 years of history behind us, we don’t take our legacy for granted. We’re looking ahead to the next 150, where success is shared, and we reach the readers of the future.
About Future Bookshelf:
The home for Hachette UK’s creative writing programmes.
At The Future Bookshelf we believe that publishing should be open and accessible to all people, from all backgrounds, from all communities. As part of Hachette UK – one of the UK’s largest publishers – we are always on the lookout for books that surprise us, inspire us, make us laugh, make us cry or tell us something that we didn’t know about the world.
We hold up to 6 different competitions and creative writing projects each year which offer prizes, mentoring opportunities and provide skills and support to aspiring writers and designers from under-represented backgrounds. Our aim is to find books that might otherwise not be published, building richer and more genuinely diverse lists across our publishing divisions.
About Hachette UK:
Our mission at Hachette UK is to make it easy for everyone, everywhere to unlock new worlds of ideas, learning, entertainment and opportunity.
We are the UK’s second largest publishing group, with 10 autonomous publishing divisions and over 50 imprints with a rich and diverse history. We are also the market leader in e-books and publish a range of bestsellers in audio format, the fastest growing part of our business.
We publish thousands of new books across the group every year and our authors include Brit Bennett, Candice Carty-Williams, Martina Cole, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Stephen King, Stieg Larsson, Nelson Mandela, Stephenie Meyer, Maggie O’Farrell, Delia Owens, Ian Rankin, J.K. Rowling, Colson Whitehead and Malala Yousafzai.
Our award-winning adult publishing divisions are Orion, which won Publisher of the Year at the 2021 British Book Awards, Little, Brown, John Murray Press, Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, Quercus, Bookouture and Octopus. Hachette Children’s Group publishes a diverse range of books for children of all ages and Hodder Education is a market leader in resources for both primary and secondary schools.
Hachette UK has offices around the UK, including our headquarters in London, the Hely Hutchinson Centre (HHC) for distribution in Didcot and five new national offices in Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Bristol, as well as offices in several other regions that form part of the Hachette UK territory, including Australia, India, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jamaica and New Zealand.