Primadonna Prize 2020 launches 1 May…

This year’s Primadonna Prize for unsigned and unrepresented writing talent will open for entries on 1 May. This year, the group of 17 women behind the Primadonna festival and Prize – the ‘Primadonnas’ – have moved the opening date forward in the hope that entrants will be able to take some advantage of the UK’s current lockdown to complete their 500 word submissions. They have also decided on the theme of ‘the more things change’ for first round entries, allowing aspiring authors the option to explore the current, extraordinary times we are living through. The winner will take away £500 and representation by top literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes – one of the Primadonnas.

This 2020 prize will be judged by a stellar lineup of literary talent. Multiple-award-winning author Elif Shafak will be joined by broadcaster, author and panellist June Sarpong OBE, and comedian, novelist and television presenter David Baddiel, as well as three of the women behind: author Monisha Rajesh, publisher Lisa Milton and literary agent Summerhayes.

Sarpong said: “I am delighted to support the Primadonna Festival for the second year in a row. The mission of the festival is one that is dear to my heart and also crucial for the publishing industry and society at large. Without gender equality in literature so many important stories go untold and so many vital voices go unheard. Primadonna aims to plug this gap whilst also unleashing a powerful wave of untapped female talent in the process.”

Summerhayes added: “We’re very excited to read how the theme will be interpreted this year, and have no doubt that the standard will be as exceptionally high as for the first year of the Prize.”

Elissa Soave was the winner of the 2019 Prize, which she accepted at a special event in March. “The ethos of Primadonna is to give opportunities to underrepresented writers and if someone like me – a Scottish working class writer – can win the first ever Primadonna Prize, it’s clearly hitting the mark.”

The winner of the 2020 Prize will be announced at a special live event in March 2021.

For full details of the competition and how to apply, go to our Prize 2020 page.