JKP’s publishing mission is to create social justice through words that celebrate diversity and equality for all. Conceived in 2019, the aim of the Writing Prize is to offer support and a platform to new and un-agented writers who have lived experiences of the subjects in which we publish. The prize winners will have their work reviewed by a panel of JKP editors and expert authors, and their work will be published in an anthology of stories.
The 2022 theme was ‘Stories of Resistance’, and applications were invited from unpublished and emerging writers to write a short story around this theme based on their own experience.
There was a call-out on social media and via the JKP and Hachette websites for submissions from any writer meeting the specified criteria (writers were aged 18 or over, from a Black, Asian, mixed heritage or ethnic minority background and their work should not have been previously published); the submissions were to be English language only, non-fiction, and not more than 3,000 words in length. The judging panel, comprising JKP editors established writers and educators, selected 11 winners, whose work will publish in early 2024 in an anthology of short stories based on lived experience.
Despite the UK’s long history of racial injustice, people from minoritised groups have fought back, engaging in advocacy, activism, and every-day acts of resistance to create positive change.
This anthology will be a collection of these stories, spanning generations, cultures, and communities. They tell of subtle everyday acts of resistance like cooking traditional dishes from recipes passed down from grandparents displaced from their homelands, challenging microaggressions in the workplace, and sending care packages to relatives in occupied states. They also highlight bold and defiant rebellions such as building a successful business from scratch and against the odds, making perilous journeys, and fighting unlawful deportation.
The fabric of these stories is made up of resistance, but also of belonging. They explore the complexities of feeling caught between identities as well as the joyful freedom found in reclaiming and rediscovering who you are.
Full of humanity and bravery, this inspiring and unique kaleidoscope of journeys speaks to how nuanced and personal resistance against racism can be.
The winners of the 2022 JKP Writing Prize were announced in March 2023. As well as receiving a cash prize each of £150, all of the 11 short stories will be published early 2024 in an anthology entitled Stories of Resistance: Roots and Rebellion: Personal Stories of Resisting Racism and Reclaiming Identity.
The full list of winners is as follows:
We plan on running the JKP Writing Prize again in the future. Further details to follow.
Special thanks go out to the 2022 judging panel, which comprised Sarah Hamlin and Masooma Malik, both JKP editors, along with JKP authors Onyinye Udokporo and Susan Cousins, and UK black history educator and cultural commentator Kayne Kawasaki.
Thanks are also extended to the many independent and specialist booksellers across the UK, writing communities, groups and clubs, cultural organisations and publications that have championed this initiative and leant their support.