RedDoor author Penny Batchelor and RedDoor publisher Clare Christian are delighted to announce a new prize aimed at improving representation of people living with disability and/or chronic illness in literature. Clare tells us a bit more below:
The idea for the prize was sparked when I read the full manuscript for what would become My Perfect Sister, Penny's debut novel. The novel has a character in it who has cerebral palsy. He's not the main character and he isn't conquering mountains. He is a regular guy with a regular job, important to the story but not the focus of it. It struck me how little we see realistic representation of disability in the books that we read, so I approached Penny with the idea for the prize and we hatched a plan.
We approached various potential partners, including the Society of Authors as we were hoping the prize could become part of their roster. We were delighted when they offered to support the prize and the announcement at their awards evening and summer party last week was the culmination of almost two years of planning.
More details about the prize with be available on the SoA website soon and it will be open for submissions in August. Penny will be one of the judges and we're both looking forward to seeing what gems the prize will unearth.
We are hugely grateful to all the supporters of the prize. Arts Council England have committed to funding the prize for the next three years and this, along with a bequest from the Drusilla Harvey Memorial Fund has allowed us to plan for the future. The Professional Writing Academy, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and Hawthornden Literary Retreat have also been generous in their support. We would like to thank them all.
We would also like to thank the Society of Authors for their invaluable contribution to getting this important prize off the ground. Thank you!