Monday, 16 May 2022

Joffe Books Prize 2022


Oyinkan Braithwaite and Ella Diamond Kahn to judge Joffe Books Prize 2022 

Joffe Books is proud to announce that the second year of the Joffe Books Prize will launch 1 May 2022. The Joffe Books Prize is a direct response to the paucity of diverse voices being published in crime fiction. Its aim is to find writers from communities that are underrepresented in the genre and support them in building sustainable careers, while simultaneously discovering brilliant new talent to join our bestselling list.

The winner will receive £1,000, a two-book publishing deal with one of the UK’s leading independent publishers and an editorial consultation with one of the judges. This year, the judging panel will include Oyinkan Braithwaite, critically acclaimed, award-winning author of the bestselling My Sister, the Serial Killer, and Ella Diamond Kahn, co-founder and partner of the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency.

Enthusiastically received by trade and prospective writers alike, the inaugural 2021 prize far exceeded expectations.

Northumberland-based Christie J. Newport was announced the winner in the Bookseller in December 2021. She was awarded a two-book publishing deal with Joffe Books and her debut is set to launch in autumn 2022.

From the shortlist, three authors have gone on to receive agency representation and a fourth will also be published by Joffe Books in 2022.

Notably, the prize saw a dramatic upswing in the number of submissions by crime writers and agents representing those from underrepresented backgrounds, and we were delighted to welcome to the list CWA John Creasey (New Blood) longlister Meeti Shroff-Shah, Paula Lennon and Adam Lyndon.

Joffe Books invites all unagented authors/entrants from Black, Asian, Indigenous and minority ethnic backgrounds writing in one of our favourite crime fiction genres to submit for the chance to win a two-book publishing deal, a £1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to turn their fantastic manuscripts into bestsellers.

Oyinkan Braithwaite, bestselling author of My Sister, the Serial Killer, says: “It is great that Joffe Prize is dedicating resources to fulfil its commitment to diversify crime fiction. I am thrilled to be a part of the movement to help authors from minority groups achieve their dreams.

Ella Diamond Kahn, co-founder of the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency, says: “It’s really important to highlight and celebrate diverse voices in all genres of books in order to truly create a more inclusive publishing industry. The Joffe Books Prize, in its second year, is already proving to be a fantastic way of doing exactly that, by discovering thrilling new crime writers. I’m so thrilled to have been invited to be one of the judges, and cannot wait to dive in.”

Emma Grundy Haigh, Editorial Director at Joffe Books, says: “I was overwhelmed by the outcomes of the first prize cycle — it’s been truly wonderful to see how the careers of the shortlistees are already starting to take shape. I’m elated that the Joffe Books Prize is entering its second year. The prize represents a small but vital step towards welcoming a far greater diversity of talent into crime fiction, amplifying underrepresented voices and continuing our commitment to widen access into publishing.

“This year, I am delighted to be joined by the utterly brilliant Oyinkan Braithwaite and Ella Diamon Kahn for the second cycle of the Joffe Books Prize. Oyinkan hardly needs introducing: her breakout novel My Sister, the Serial Killer not only took the crime fiction world by storm, it shook the genre to its core. Ella is a brilliant advocate both for making publishing more accessible and for creating commercial fiction at its finest. I cannot wait to see where the prize takes us this year.”


The prize seeks to discover a new crime fiction writer to join our bestselling list and aims to champion authors from Black, Asian, Indigenous and minority ethnic backgrounds writing in one of our favourite crime fiction genres: electrifying psychological thrillers, cosy mysteries, gritty police procedurals, twisty chillers, unputdownable suspense mysteries, shocking domestic noirs . . .

The winner will receive £1,000 and be offered a two-book publishing deal with Joffe Books, as well as an editorial consultation with one of the judges and a two-year membership to the Society of Authors. Shortlisted authors will receive editorial feedback.


Entrants are invited to submit their full-length manuscript, written in English, a short synopsis of their work and their biography to

The opening date for entries is 1 May 2022. The competition period will close 30 September 2022, 23.59 p.m. BST. No entries received outside this period will be accepted.

Full entry details can be found at


Submissions will be judged by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Ella Diamond Kahn and Emma Grundy Haigh, as well as other members of the Joffe Books team. The winner of the competition will be selected by these judges based on their work’s quality and commercial potential.


Joffe Books is one of the UK’s leading independent publishers of excellent commercial fiction, especially crime and mystery fiction. We passionately love books and are renowned for working closely with authors from across the world to create fantastic books and turning them into bestsellers. Since 2014, we have published more than 700 books by over 80 authors, sold over 20 million books and been shortlisted for Independent Publisher of the Year three times at the British Book Awards and for the Alison Morrison Diversity Award at the 2022 Independent Publishing Awards. Our roster of award-winning authors and New York Times, USA Today and Amazon bestsellers includes Joy Ellis, Faith Martin, Robert Goddard, Simon Brett, Patricia MacDonald and Stella Cameron.

While Joffe Books maintains open submissions for all authors, this competition is designed to offer an exclusive opportunity to Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, who are particularly underrepresented in crime fiction publishing.


Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at a Nigerian publishing house and has been freelancing as a writer and graphic designer since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self-published work. She is the author of My Sister, the Serial Killer, which received international critical and popular acclaim, winning the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller, and being shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019, and the British Book Awards 2020 in two categories. It was also longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019, and the 2020 Dublin Literary Award. My Sister, the Serial Killer is being translated into 30 languages and has also been optioned for film.


The co-founder of the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency, Ella Diamond Kahn worked at Andrew Nurnberg Associates as an assistant literary agent for three years. She has long sought to build bridges for those wishing to get into publishing, serving as chair of the Society of Young Publishers in 2012 and chair of the Young Stationers’ Committee in 2018. She has regularly worked with London’s Writer Development Agency Spread the Word, and has also been involved with the WriteNow programme. She was included in the Bookseller’s list of Rising Stars in 2013, and was a winner of the London Book Fair Trailblazer Award 2016. Ella is a keen advocate of upmarket commercial fiction. She is passionate about finding and championing new voices, including those traditionally underrepresented in publishing.

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