Leeds based literary prize launches "crowdfunding" campaign

The SI Leeds Literary Prize 2012 is a groundbreaking new award for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women writers based in the UK.   An initiative of Soroptimist International of Leeds, the prize has been developed in partnership with Peepal Tree Press and Ilkley Literature Festival as a platform to discover new talent, and as a vehicle to raise awareness of Black and Asian women’s writing.

The prize has an impressive line-up of patrons - a group of influential writers and thinkers with a significant public profile including Bonnie Greer OBE (who is of course current president of the Bronte Society), British novelist Bernardine Evaristo, critic and broadcaster Bidisha, contemporary artist and curator Diane Howse, and journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who commented on her reasons for supporting the prize: “Women of colour have written some of the most lyrical, moving and challenging books in the world – from Toni Morrison to Arundhati Roy.   Their voices have changed Britain too. Though a few – very few – like Andrea Levy have had the accolades they deserve, many have not and most are barely heard. This prize will reward those who fight the odds to write stirring books and hopefully encourage many more.”

The prize judges (including Margaret Busby OBE) will announce the long list at the end of July and the shortlist of four at the beginning of September. The inaugural prize will be awarded on 3rd October 2012 as part of the Ilkley Literature Festival.

To support the prize for this year, and into future years, a "crowdfunding" campaign has been launched via www.sponsume.com A donation as little as £10 helps to support the Prize and secure its status for future years. Patrons and partners have pledged some fantastic rewards which will be offered to donors, including an original signed artwork by Bidisha. The crowdfunding website gives full details of the amounts that can be pledged, with their corresponding rewards (e.g. tickets for Ilkley Literature Festival events, Peepal Tree Press book tokens and one-off items, such as original signed manuscripts).

For further information, images or interview requests, please contact Kate Kershaw - telephone (UK) 07588 881121 e-mail: mail@katekershaw.com

[N.B. Please mention the Eagle Intermedia Bronte Country website when making your enquiries.]

[News item based on press release supplied by Gail Bolland - 24th July 2012.]

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