I recently spoke with Lip Mag about the 2020 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction, which I have the honour of judging this year alongside Eleni Hale and Jennifer Down.
The Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction calls for stories by women and non-binary writers. What’s your view on diverse representation in publishing? And how do you believe the #ownvoices movement has changed the industry?
I think diverse representation in publishing is extremely important because it opens the door to stories we don’t often hear; to stories that have so often been overwritten or silenced. And I’m seeing a lot more poetry and YA works from gender diverse folks who aren’t your typical ‘poster people’ for diversity – words and works from those assigned male at birth, from those with intersecting marginalisations, from folks of different class backgrounds, from folks who aren’t thin and white. For that reason, I think #ownvoices is moving the industry towards better inclusion: from people writing stories about us and for us, to us writing our own stories.
What will you be looking for when judging the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction?
Something new that takes me by surprise and shakes up my expectations of story writing, of character, of voice.
Entries for the 2020 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction are now OPEN and close 5pm Friday 17th April, 2020. Submit stories up to 2000 words that engage with the theme ‘future’. For more information, click here.