Tempest Prize seeks new queer voices from across the North

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We are excited to be partnering with poet and novelist Andrew McMillan to launch the Tempest Prize, a new addition to the Northern Writers’ Awards offering for 2024.

The Tempest Prize will award one unpublished LGBTQ+ writer based in the North of England a £1000 bursary, mentoring from Andrew McMillan, and access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Talent Network. It will be open between February and March 2024 to submissions of poetry, fiction and narrative non-fiction, and will be judged by Andrew, alongside a co-judge to be announced in January 2024.

Andrew McMillan is the writer of award-winning poetry collections physical, pandemonium and playtime, and his highly anticipated debut novel, Pity, is due for publication by Canongate on 8 February 2024. Andrew has a long relationship with the Northern Writers’ Awards, having won a poetry award in 2014, judged the awards in 2021, and hosted the 2022 award ceremony. The Tempest Prize is the second to be set up and funded by a previous award-winner, after author Benjamin Myers inaugurated the Finchale Prize for Short Fiction in 2022.

Andrew McMillan said:

“I was raised to believe that literature isn’t elsewhere, its right where you are; it’s your town, your street, your voice, your accent, your life. So often, growing up as a young man in Barnsley, slowly realising I was gay, the representations of LGBTQ+ life in literature and media felt beautiful but distant. I was very fortunate, to have access to books, and to a world that brought it closer. Over the last decade there’s been a great flourishing of queer literature in the UK, which I’ve benefitted from, and loved being in conversation with. I want, in a small way, to help that continue and develop. The aim of the Tempest Prize is to put my money where my mouth is, pay forward the good fortune and privilege I’ve enjoyed, and shine a light on queer stories wherever they might come from in the North of England.”

Read our press release here

The Northern Writers’ Awards are England’s largest and longest-running writer development programme, supported by Northumbria University, Arts Council England and a range of partners. Read more about the Northern Writers’ Awards