Stylist Prize for Feminist Fiction 2021: the longlist is coming

Written by Stylist Team

Earlier this summer, we teamed up with Rachel Mills Literary agency to discover the next great female author through the Stylist Prize For Feminist Fiction. With entries now closed, here’s when you can expect to see the longlist, shortlist – and, of course, the winning entry.

Here at Stylist, we’ve always known there’s a wealth of female writing talent out there; authors bursting with ideas and ambition to tell stories that matter. But since sifting through the entries to our first ever Prize For Feminist Fiction this summer, we’ve never been more convinced.

Answering our call to find the next Sally Rooney, Candice-Carty Williams or Margaret Atwood, more than 450 budding authors submitted their work for a chance to win £1,000 and a guaranteed offer of representation from Rachel Mills Literary, whose clients include Elizabeth Day, Pandora Sykes and Bryony Gordon.

And to say the judges were blown away would be an understatement. Whittling down 450 names to a longlist of just 12 has proved no mean feat, but luckily we’ve got a panel who are more than up to the task: Sara Collins, the Costa-winning author of The Confessions Of Frannie Langton; Harriet Bourton, acting publisher at Viking Books; Nelle Andrew, from our partner Rachel Mills Literary, who recently won Literary Agent of the Year; and Lisa Smosarski, editor-in-chief of Stylist.

When will we see the fruits of their labour? The longlist for the prize is set be announced here on Stylist.co.uk on Thursday, 7 October, and you can expect to see the final shortlist of writers – all of whom will receive private editorial consultancy on their work as well as an introduction to how to submit to an agent – on Thursday, 21 October.

Andrew says she’s been “astounded” by the calibre of writing submitted for the prize. “So many of these debuts were evocative and clever; their world-building and examination of female-led issues across both modern and historical settings was truly original,” she says. “There may be no new stories, but there is a bevy of real talent out there, writers finding unique ways to engage, challenge and illuminate.”

So, a huge thank you to all the writers who entered. Due to the sheer volume of applicants, we’re not able to contact everyone directly, so if your name doesn’t appear on the longlist we’re afraid that means you were unsuccessful this time. But please don’t be disheartened, your talents have truly wowed some of the best in the business – and we’ll keep you posted on more opportunities to get your work out there in future.

But first, the longlist: see you back here on Thursday 7 October… 

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