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Joffe Books Prize for Crime Fiction Writers of Colour

Writing.ie | Magazine | Writing Competitions
Joffe Books

By Writing.ie

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Competition deadline: 30th September 2021

Joffe Books, in conjunction with bestselling crime writer Dorothy Koomson and literary agent Susan Yearwood, is seeking to discover a new crime fiction writer to join our bestselling list. We are launching a new writing prize for unagented crime fiction writers of colour to turn their fantastic manuscripts into bestsellers. The winner will receive a two-book publishing contract with Joffe Books.

The competition aims to champion authors from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds writing in one of our favourite crime fiction genres: electrifying psychological thrillers, cosy mysteries, gritty police procedurals, twisty chillers, unputdownable suspense mysteries, shocking domestic noirs . . .

Whether you are writing your crime fiction debut, previously published or self-published, if you are an unagented crime fiction writer of colour, we want to hear from you!

DOROTHY KOOMSON, BESTSELLING CRIME WRITER, says: “I think crime fiction in all its glory could really benefit from more stories by traditionally underrepresented writers out there. This competition is one way of doing that. I’m so excited to be a judge on this and can’t wait to read the submissions.”

SUSAN YEARWOOD, SUSAN YEARWOOD AGENCY says: “Joffe Books is one of the most innovative and inclusive-thinking digital publishers in publishing today and I am pleased to be asked to judge Joffe’s inaugural competition to find a great crime writer. I have long been a fan of Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers in this genre and I look forward to meeting big talent in crime writing.”

EMMA GRUNDY HAIGH, JOFFE BOOKS says: “We are very excited to launch this competition. If we are to create meaningful, long-lasting change within our industry, it is not enough to claim to have an open-door policy. It is our responsibility to actively seek out writers from communities that are underrepresented in our genre and support them in building sustainable careers. I can’t wait to discover the fantastic writers that enter this competition and get their work to the hands of readers.”


The winner will receive a two-book publishing contract with Joffe Books.


Entrants are invited to submit their full-length manuscript, written in English, along with a synopsis of the book and author biography, to prize@joffebooks.com.

The opening date for entries is 1 May 2021. The closing date for entries is 30 September 2021 23.59 p.m. GMT. No entries received after this date will be accepted.


All submissions will be read and judged by the Joffe Books team, Dorothy Koomson and Susan Yearwood from Susan Yearwood Agency. The winner of the competition will be selected by these judges based on their work’s quality and commercial potential.


Joffe Books is one of the UK’s leading independent publishers of excellent commercial fiction, especially crime and mystery fiction. We are renowned for working closely with authors from across the world to create fantastic books and turning them into bestsellers. Since 2014, we have published more than 500 books by over 70 authors, sold over 10 million books and been shortlisted for Independent Publisher of the Year twice (including in 2021!). Our roster of award-winning authors and New York Times, USA Today and Amazon bestsellers includes Joy Ellis (currently up for Crime & Thriller Book of the Year), Faith Martin, Robert Goddard, Rick Mofina and Stella Cameron.

While Joffe Books maintains open submissions for all authors, this competition is designed to offer an exclusive opportunity to Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, who are particularly underrepresented in crime fiction publishing.


Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning, global bestselling author of 16 Sunday Times bestsellers. She was featured on the 2021 Powerlist as one of the most influential Black people in Britain and appeared in GQ Style as a Black British trailblazer. Dorothy uses her platform to support new writers and recently launched The Happy Author podcast. Her latest paperback, All My Lies Are True, the follow-up to the ITV-adapted, The Ice Cream Girls, is out now. Her next book I Know What You’ve Done, is published in July (Headline) and available to pre-order now.


Susan Yearwood began her career in publishing in the early 1990s, gaining valuable experience at Virago, now part of Little, Brown Book Group and Penguin Books Ltd (Penguin Random House). Susan Yearwood Agency was founded in 2007, starting the successful careers of debut writers Kerry Young, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and Prajwal Parajuly, shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Susan now represents a wide range of clients who write everything from book club fiction, crime/thriller, YA novels, well-being and cookery.

See here for further information.

  • allianceindependentauthors.org
  • www.designforwriters.com

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