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New SoA fiction prize encourages positive representation of disability in literature

The Society of Authors has announced a new annual literary award – the ADCI Literary Prize – open to authors with a disability or chronic illness, for novels that include a disabled or chronically ill character.

Sponsored by Arts Council England, ALCS, the Drusilla Harvey Memorial Fund, the Hawthornden Literary Retreat, and the Professional Writing Academy, the prize will become part of the SoA Awards stable, joining ten other annual awards for fiction, poetry and non-fiction, worth more than £100,000.

The winner will receive £1,000 and two runners-up will each receive £500.

‘Celebrating disabled authors and their stories’

The co-founders of the prize, author Penny Batchelor and publisher Clare Christian, first identified the need for the prize while working together to publish Penny’s debut novel My Perfect Sister. The picture above is of the co-founders at the launch (Clare Christian on left).

Both Penny and Clare are vocal campaigners, calling for better representations of disability in publishing and bookselling, and advocates for disabled people navigating their way through a publishing industry that often struggles to be accessible. Over the past six months alone, they have led the #KeepFestivalsHybrid campaign, calling for wider access to literary festivals and events post pandemic, and successfully lobbied Amazon to introduce a new Disability Fiction category to its books section.

Opens for entries in August

The new prize opens for entries in August and will be awarded for the first time at the SoA Awards in June 2023. It will join the stable of other SoA Awards, which include the Betty Trask Prize and Awards, the Eric Gregory Awards, the Queen’s Knickers Award, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize and, awarded for the first time this year, the Volcano Prize. Together they form the UK’s biggest literary prize fund, worth over £100,000 annually.

Find out more about the new award on the  ADCI Literary Prize webpage.