Impress Prize

Impress Books is delighted to announce the 2018 Impress Prize for New Writers shortlist. The prize panel will meet on November 23rd to choose the winner.

1. Full of Donkey: Travels in Armenia by Ashley Kalagian Blunt
2. Why do Humans Kiss? by Ruth Colmer
3. Different for Girls by Stephanie Davies
4. Secret Harvest by V.J. Hamilton
5. The Flames by Sophie Haydock
6. Because of a Stranger by Federica Romaniello
7. Manual for a Decent Life by Kavita A Jindal
8. Beyond the Dark River by Angela Kingston
9. Brace against the Waves by Lori Inglis Hall
10. Thin Air by Harriet Connides
11. The Big Nothing by Sarah Gordon
12. Behind me Lies the Desert by Kevin Gerard Neill


Congratulations to all those on the shortlist and many thanks for all those who entered the prize again this year!

Now in its 12th year, the prize was created to champion and nurture new voices. Winners of past prizes have gone on to sell rights across the globe, and those shortlisted have enjoyed multiple book deals with Impress.

The prize is a publishing contract with Impress Books in both print and eBook, and a £500 advance.

Writers submit a 6,000 word sample of their manuscript, a synopsis, publishing rationale, and author biography to Impress. A shortlist is created by the Impress team, and this is then sent to a panel of external judges who decide on a winner.

We will be announcing the 2018 panel in the coming months. The panel will consist of published authors, booksellers, agents and one member of the Impress team.

The prize is open to all writers who have not been traditionally published before (this makes eligible self-published authors, or writers who have had other work published including short stories, poetry, and academic work). We accept both fiction and non-fiction entries across all genres, but do not accept poetry.

This is an amazing opportunity for emerging, unpublished writers to have their work assessed by experts and considered for publication by Impress.


Impress Prize Panel 2017

The Day’s Heat by Roberta H. George won the Impress Prize for New Writers 2017.


Left to right: Lucy Powrie, Mel Mitchell, Tash Onwuemezi, Laura Christopher, Annabel Abbs

 Set in the early sixties against the backdrop of impending national integration, the novel follows Lea James, a dark-skinned, Catholic, Lebanese girl who comes to a small south Georgia town and confronts the prejudices of her husband’s family and the community toward her nationality and religion.

The decision was made by a panel of judges: Lucy Powrie, blogger and creator of #UKYAchat, Annabel Abbs, author of the Impress Prize winner in 2015 The Joyce Girl, Mel Mitchell, editor at Nudge Book magazine, Tasha Onwuemezi, reporter for Independent Publishers at The Bookseller and Laura Christopher, Commissioning Editor at Impress Books.

Commissioning Editor Laura Christopher, who chaired the panel, said, “It was a difficult choice, but The Day’s Heat was a really strong entry, with a gripping synopsis and vivid protagonist. We’re very excited to announce it as our winner of the 2017 prize.”