The first decibel Penguin prize unearthed exciting new talent from ten British-based writers from around the world. The resulting anthology of short stories, Volume 1: New Voices from A Diverse Culture was published by Penguin in November 2006 and launched with an event at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.
The judging panel will be chaired by Brenda Emmanus of BBC London and will include Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, with further judges to be confirmed shortly.
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty says:
“Participating in the judging process of Volume I was a honour and a treat. At a time when there is so much political navel-gazing about ‘identity’, Volume 2 is a great opportunity for the creative arts to fill the void’.”
Simon Prosser, Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton and Penguin, comments:
“I was delighted by the response to Volume 1 and am very much looking forward to this year’s contributions on the subject of immigration to Britain — a powerful and timely theme which should produce some great non-fiction pieces. It remains essential that all of us in the publishing industry focus on broadening the range of writing and writers published in this country, to reflect its true vibrancy and diversity”
decibel has been working to diversify the literature sector since its inception in 2003. In October 2006, decibel sponsored a major strand of events at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. The readings and discussions explored the complex nature of literary identity and authors involved included Bernardine Evaristo, Malorie Blackman and Diran Adebayo. 2006 also saw the second decibel British Book Award, presented to Diana Evans at a televised ceremony hosted by Richard and Judy and watched by millions of peak time Channel 4 viewers.
decibel and Penguin are inviting competition entries of between 1000 and 5000 words in length, which are non-fiction personal accounts of the experience of immigration to the UK, and are aimed at an adult readership. There is no age limit for authors, who must not have had a full-length book published. The closing date for entries is Monday 2 April 2007, and the successful authors will be announced in early June. The anthology of the winning entries will be published by Penguin in November 2007.