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The Barbellion Prize for Sick and Disabled Writers

Deadline: October 31st, 2021

The Barbellion Prize is a book prize dedicated to the furtherance of ill and disabled voices in writing. The prize is awarded annually to an author whose work has best represented the experience of chronic illness and/or disability.

The awarded work can be of any genre in fiction, memoir, biography, poetry, or critical non-fiction from around the world – whether it is in English, in translation, traditionally published, or self-published.

The prize is named in tribute to English diarist W.N.P. Barbellion, who wrote eloquently on his life with multiple sclerosis (MS) before his death in 1919.

The 2020 prize has been awarded as of February 12th 2021, with prize money amounting to £1000.

While The Barbellion Prize exists to reward people for writing while ill or disabled, we also hope to encourage others who live with long-term illness and disability to further demonstrate those realities in print – fictionally or otherwise.”

Who Can Apply?

  • Eligibility for the prize is predicated on the author’s presentation of life with a long-term chronic illness or disability, whether that be in the form of blindness, MS, cystic fibrosis, dwarfism, or another comparable condition that may substantially define one’s life.
  • Authors – such as those in a carer’s capacity – who themselves are not ill may be considered for the prize if their work is truly exceptional as an articulation of life with illness, but authors who themselves deal personally with illness or disability will take priority in any selection for the prize.
  • To send them a suitable file (ebook, PDF, MOBI) of a book that is eligible for the 2021 prize (published between Nov 2020 – Oct 2021), you can do so via email – TheBarbellionPrize@mail.com. Authors or agents can also submit works, not just publishers.
  • Again, for a work to be eligible for the 2021 prize, it needs to have been published between November 2020 and October 31st 2021.
  • Self-published works (ebooks or physical books) are also accepted, but they do not accept unpublished manuscripts.
  • Works published in November or December 2021 (after October 31st) can be considered for the following 2022 prize.
  • The prize is international and works newly translated into English are also eligible.
  • They accept works from almost all genres.

Visit The Barbellion Prize for more information.

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