The Mo Siewcharran Prize, named in memory of Nielsen BookData’s former director of marketing and communications, was co-founded and sponsored by her husband John Seaton and aims to nurture talent from underrepresented backgrounds writing in English.
Each year, the Mo Siewcharran Prize is hosted by a different division of Hachette UK, supported by The Future Bookshelf. In 2022, the prize was hosted by Quercus Fiction.
With a focus on writers in the crime and thriller genre specifically, entrants for the Mo Siewcharran Prize 2022 had to submit a 700-word synopsis, sample chapter and author biography to the prize. The first round was judged by members of Quercus and employees from across Hachette UK, with feedback shared and discussed on each entry. News of the prize was shared widely across Quercus social media channels, local libraries and bookshops, the Hachette employee networks and through newsletters of partner organisations. It was a wonderful and incredibly talented pool of entries that led to some brilliant discussions.
The shortlist was judged by Quercus Fiction Publisher Cassie Browne, Quercus Publisher Stefanie Bierwerth, the winner of the 2021 prize Santanu Bhattacharya, literary agent Camilla Bolton, crime fiction critic Ayo Onatade, Ella Patel, co-chair of Hachette’s employee network THRIVE, and Quercus authors Elly Griffiths and Amen Alonge. And from this shortlist, the winner was chosen!
With his novel The Search for Othella Savage,Foday Mannah was crowned winner of the 2022 Mo Siewcharran Prize. As part of the prize, Foday received £2,500 plus an editorial letter and feedback session from a Quercus editor. Mannah also received an introductory session with the Quercus rights, marketing and publicity teams, as well as introductory sessions with literary agents. He is now represented by Elise Dillsworth.
Arranged Murder by Faaiza Munir was runner-up, winning £1,500 plus editorial feedback from a Quercus editor and a book hamper, while Incarnations of an English Subject by Kalbinder Dayal came third, receiving £750 and a book hamper.
From all those involved in the 2022 Mo Siewcharran Prize, we’ve like to give huge thanks to John Seaton and to Nielsen BookData for their continued support and sponsorship of the prize. The 2023 Mo Siewcharran Prize will be hosted by Hachette Children’s, with a focus on writers and writer-illustrators in the picture book genre.