The Jhalak Prize has announced the longlist for its annual Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour in addition to its inaugural longlist for the Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize. The prize winners will receive £1000 each and a unique work of art created by artists of colour under the Jhalak Residency.
Featuring titles across the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, the Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year is made up of twelve books that engage with complex histories, illuminate often unseen experiences, and confront difficult ideas and topics.
The inaugural Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize longlist comprises a range of self-published authors vying with established writers. Titles include picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult fiction. The books cover intricate themes including war, liberty, and identity in nuanced, yet playful ways.
Jhalak Prize director, Sunny Singh commented on both longlists:
‘Despite the pandemic and the grim past year, we received a record number of submissions, nearly a third more than in 2020. There are more books by writers of colour being published and more importantly more of these are being published well. Although this is not a moment for complacency, especially since the pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities - and writers - of colour, there is much reason to celebrate. And celebrate we must, and shall!’
The shortlist for both Jhalak Prize Awards will be announced on 13 April 2021, with the winners to be announced the following month on 25 May 2021 in partnership with the British Library.
2021 will also see the expansion of the annual Jhalak Art Residency. The annual Jhalak Art Resident commissions an artist of colour to create a unique piece that serves as the trophy for the winner of the Jhalak Book of the Year Award. For the first time this year, an illustrator will create a unique trophy for the Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize. The artist and illustrator selected to create this year’s trophies will be announced on 16 March 2021.
The Jhalak Prize is an annual literary award for British or British-resident writers of colour and was established in 2016 by Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla in conjunction with Media Diversified and supported by the Author’s Club. A celebration of the range of exceptional work from writers of colour, the prize is also open to self-published writers.
You can find the full longlist for both awards and more details about the Jhalak Prize here!