Jhalak Prize longlist announced

The Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour, co-founded by London Met lecturer Sunny Singh, has revealed its inaugural longlist.

Date: 9 January 2017

The Jhalak Prize was established in 2016 by author and senior lecturer in Creative Writing and English Literature BA Sunny Singh, in collaboration with author Nikesh Shukla and Media Diversified, to celebrate the achievements of British BAME writers.

The prize recognises, rewards and honours literary talent and achievement by British writers of colour who are often ignored, overlooked and erased in UK publishing.

Selected from 121 entries, the inaugural longlist spans a wide range of genres including fiction, young adult, non-fiction, debuts and short stories.

The 2017 longlist for the Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour includes:

  • Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman (Doubleday Children’s)
  • Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (Sceptre)
  • Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence (Hodder)
  • Augustown by Kei Miller (W&N)
  • The Girl Of Ink And Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Chicken House)
  • A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
  • Speak Gigantular by Irenosen Okojie (Jacaranda)
  • Black And British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga (Macmillan)
  • In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room: Travels through Indian Medicine by Aarathi Prasad (Profile)
  • The Bone Readers by Jacob Ross (Peepal Tree Press)
  • Another Day In The Death Of America by Gary Younge (Faber)

Sunny and Nikesh launched the prize following the publication of Writing The Future, a damning report commissioned by Spread the Word into BAME representation in UK publishing, and in response to the heavily criticised all-white 2015 World Book Night booklist.

The winner will be selected by a judging panel chaired by Sunny Singh, alongside author Catherine Johnson, author and poet Alex Wheatle MBE, poet and broadcaster Musa Okwonga and Booker-longlisted fiction writer Yvvette Edwards.

The overall winner of the Jhalak Prize will be awarded £1,000 and announced during Bare Lit Festival held in March 2017.


Image of London Met lecturer Sunny Singh