The third decibel Penguin prize today calls for new entries that explore the experience of having a mixed heritage. The prize is a collaboration between decibel, an Arts Council England initiative dedicated to promoting diversity in the arts, and Penguin Books.
In today’s Britain, thousands of people have parents from different cultural backgrounds. The judges – who include Shami Chakrabarti and Kate Mosse – will be looking for true stories that illuminate the complexities, challenges and joys of having a mixed heritage.
Entries must be non-fiction, however they can be first-person accounts, or about another person’s experience. The competition is open to writers from any background. It was created to discover original writing talent while offering new authors an opportunity to showcase their work. The winning entries will be published in a Penguin anthology in November this year.
The judging panel is: Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty; Simon Prosser, Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton and Penguin; Samenua Sesher, Director of decibel; authors Kate Mosse and Bernardine Evaristo; and Vivian Archer of the Newham Bookshop. David Lammy MP, Minister for Skills, is the patron of the prize. The judges will be chaired by Brenda Emmanus of BBC London.
David Lammy MP, Minister for Skills said:
“I’m so pleased to act as patron for the decibel Penguin Prize once more, and really excited to read this year’s winning entries. I’m sure this year’s anthology will be just as moving and fresh as last year’s, providing a wonderful insight into some of the rich tapestry of British ethnic minority culture.”
Samenua Sesher, Director of decibel said:
“decibel is proud to be announcing the final competition in this important series of work with Penguin books. This project has uncovered wonderful writers and shared touching stories. We all benefit from having a variety of voices – sharing life’s twists and turns from different perspectives gives us greater understanding of each other.”
Simon Prosser, Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton and Penguin said:
“I am delighted that we are collaborating with decibel in launching a third writing competition, this time around the themes of growing up with a mixed heritage. Last year’s anthology of the winners, collecting accounts of immigration to the UK, included some fantastic new writing and I have high hopes for this year’s too.”
The competition calls for non-fiction entries between 400 and 4000 words in length, on the experience of having a mixed heritage, whether it’s the author’s own experience or the experience of another person. Entries are welcome from any UK residents and there is no age limit for the authors, although they must not have had a full-length book published. The closing date for entries is 7 April 2008.
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