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15 September 2022

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

We are pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, judged by Preti Taneja (Fiction), Francesca Wade (Life Writing), and Mary Jean Chan (Poetry), and chaired by Marina Salandy-Brown. Celebrating new writers, the international Prize has no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background and in 2022 received entries from 55 countries.

Prize chair Marina Salandy-Brown was struck by ‘the range and confidence’ of entries this year. In the Life Writing category, Francesca Wade said the shortlisted pieces ‘hold the power to move, surprise and inform’, while Poetry judge Mary Jean Chan said all fifteen shortlistees ‘impressed the judges with their precision of language and exquisite choices of imagery, such that each sentence or line, in the words of James Baldwin, is “as clean as a bone”.’ Fiction judge Preti Taneja agreed that the shortlisted stories, ‘with their reflexivity, imagination, anger, and passion made me glad to be a reader.’

The three winners, who will be announced on 19 October 2022, will receive prizes of £1,000 each and publication in Wasafiri magazine, while the remaining shortlistees will have their work published on All shortlisted writers are awarded with ongoing mentoring and further career support from Wasafiri partners The Literary Consultancy and The Good Literary Agency.

From eight countries across five continents, the shortlisted writers are:

judged by Preti Taneja

Sylee Gore for ‘Cloud Archive’

Jimin Kang for ‘Papaya’

Foday Mannah for ‘Kasila’s Dream’

Dan Byam Shaw for ‘Notes for a Dictionary of Walking the Fingers’

Susie Thornberry for ‘Three Sisters’

Life Writing
judged by Francesca Wade

Jessie Berry-Porter for ‘Milos as a Symbol (I Could Love You If I Were Somebody Different), Or: Dating with Dissociative Identity’

Gloria Blizzard for ‘Ghost’

Haniya Habib for ‘The Salt in the Air’

Nadine Monem for ‘Salt Prints’

Jailan Zayan for ‘Vecchia Bambina’

judged by Mary Jean Chan

Hasti for ‘I have fallen from my dream of progress’

Sanah Ahsan for ‘jummah’

Laurie Bolger for ‘SILVO’

Juleus Ghunta for ‘There Was Never Enough Salt in the Kitchen’

Hera Naguib for ‘At the Allama Iqbal International Airport’

Shortlisted pieces will be published online over the coming months; follow @wasafirimag on Instagram or Twitter to be notified when each piece is out. The winning pieces will be published in the Spring 2023 issue of Wasafiri.

The 2023 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize will open in January.

For further information or to interview our shortlisted writers, contact Farhaana Arefin at
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