Impress Prize

Impress Prize Panel 2017

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

And the winner is…


Impress Books is delighted to reveal that The Day’s Heat by Roberta H. George has won the Impress Prize for New Writers 2017.

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.

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.”

The 12th Impress Prize for New Writers will open in spring 2018.

The prize was created to discover and publish new writing talent in fiction and non-fiction. Entries to the prize are assessed by the Impress team each year and a shortlist produced from which a panel chooses the winner. The panel is comprised of representatives from the publishing industry and the writing community.

The winner of the prize is offered a publishing contract with Impress books with the aim of publishing the book in the year following the award. The Impress team also looks at all entries, whether on the shortlist or not, with a view to publication by Impress Books. Numerous entries from previous years have gone on to be published by Impress Books and other publishers and many authors who have entered the prize have also gone on to be represented by agents.

It is our firm belief that the prize is not just about the winner but should encourage emerging authors to write and to provide them with a focus and forum for their talent.

To find out more about the prize, follow us on Twitter using @ImpressPrize and @ImpressBooks1.