The Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, founded jointly by Feminist Press and TAYO Literary Magazine, is accepting fiction and narrative nonfiction submissions for their annual award for a first book by a woman of color or a nonbinary writer of color. The award celebrates work “in the tradition of Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner, one of the first contemporary American novels featuring a young Black girl as the protagonist.” The winner will receive $5,000 and publication with Feminist Press in spring 2024. The editors expect to offer close editorial guidance to the prize winner.
To submit, e-mail a prose manuscript of 30,000 to 80,000 words and a cover letter by May 8. Lupita Aquino, Bridgett M. Davis, Nancy Jooyoun Kim, Cassandra Lane, and Feminist Press executive director and publisher Margot Atwell will judge. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
Established in 2016 to honor the legacy of Louise Meriwether—an author, essayist, journalist, and antiwar activist, and the first African American woman to work as a story editor in Hollywood—the prize is meant to further “telling much-needed stories that shift culture and act as a springboard for new writers joining the industry.” Finalists will be notified in October and the winner will be announced in March 2023. Previous winners are Cassandra Lane (We Are Bridges), Melissa Valentine (The Names of All the Flowers), Claudia D. Hernández (Knitting the Fog), and YZ Chin (Though I Get Home).