Stormzy isn’t just an award-winning grime rapper: he’s also a book-publishing mogul. Well, he has his own books imprint anyway: #Merky Books, which is part of the Penguin Random House empire, and published his own ‘Rise Up’ book last year.
Now the imprint is looking to highlight some emerging writers. It’s launching the #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, open to aspiring writers of fiction, poetry and non-fiction from the UK and Ireland, aged between 16 and 30. A shortlist will be announced on 2 May, and the winner on 6 June – they’ll get a publishing deal with Stormzy’s imprint.
“I know too many talented writers that don’t always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen and hopefully #Merky Books can now be a reference point for them to say ‘I can be an author’ and for that to be a realistic and achievable goal,” he said in a statement. “Reading and writing as a kid was integral to where I am today and I from the bottom of my heart cannot wait to hear your stories and get them out into the big wide world.” We’re looking forward to seeing (and reading) the nominees.