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Kadija George and Karen Onojaife join judging panel for SI Leeds Literary Prize

The judging panel for the 2016 SI Leeds Literary Prize has been announced.

Kadija George, co-director of our Inscribe imprint, joins the distinguished panel of judges for the forward-thinking prize, which celebrates fiction by British women writers of Black and Asian descent. Kadija is joined by literary activist Susheila Nasta; Margaret Oldroyd, President of the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland of Soroptimist International; and novelist and short story writer Karen Onojaife. The judges will begin adjudicating manuscripts in May.

The SI Leeds Literary Prize is a prize for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women resident in the UK aged 18 years and over.

Entrants have until Saturday 30 April 2016 to enter.

The winning entry will receive £2,000, a free place at an Arvon creative writing course, free manuscript assessment of their work from The Literary Consultancy; invitation to New Writing North’s London summer salon event for publishers and agents; workshops and support; speaking engagements, including at Ilkley Literature Festival 2016 and serious consideration for publication by Peepal Tree Press.

About the judges

Kadija George is a literary activist of Sierra Leonean descent. She read West African studies at Birmingham University, then went on to become a freelance journalist. She has worked for the Centreprise Literature Development Project as the Black Literature Development Co-ordinator, and set up the newspaper Calabash. She is the founder of SABLE LitMag, and Kadija has edited several important anthologies. Kadija is also co-director of Inscribe, a writer development programme housed by Peepal Tree Press, and fiction editor for Amalion Publishing in Senegal.

Susheila Nasta is the Founder and Editor of Wasafiri. A literary activist, writer and presenter, she is now Emeritus Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University in Britain.  Susheila has written several books on the Caribbean, the South Asian diaspora and black Britain. Her books include, Home Truths: Fictions of the South Asian Diaspora in BritainWriting Across Worlds: Contemporary Writers TalkIndia in Britain, and Asian Britain: A Photographic History. She is currently working on a group biography, entitled The Bloomsbury Indians. In 2011, she received an MBE for her services to Black and Asian literatures.

Margaret Oldroyd was President of the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) of Soroptimist International. She is a chartered librarian, has a lifelong love affair with the theatre, and is an avid reader. She is an active supporter of ActionAid, Book Aid International and the Africat Foundation.

Karen Onojaife is a novelist and short story writer.  Her work has appeared in Mslexia, Buzzfeed, Callaloo, SABLE LitMag and, most recently, Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories. Her work has been longlisted for the Bridport Short Story and the Fish Short Story competitions, while her story ‘Starling’ was second place in the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2013. Her novel Borrowed Light won the Reader’s Choice award and placed second overall in the inaugural SI Leeds Literary Prize. She is a VONA/Voices fellow and currently is a fiction reader for the Callaloo journal.

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