The Barbellion Prize 2021 Shortlist:
The 2021 Winner will be announced in February 2022.
The Winner of The Barbellion Prize 2020 is 'GOLEM GIRL: A MEMOIR' by Riva Lehrer (published by One World/Virago).
For winning the prize, Riva Lehrer will receive £1000, a custom-made crystal glass Barbellion Prize trophy and certificate, as well as a copy of W.N.P. Barbellion's The Journal of a Disappointed Man.
You can support the prize and help us continue to celebrate the work of disabled authors by donating - using the links below.
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.
Submissions for 2021 are open now and end October 31st 2021. Please feel free to donate using the links below to help us continue The Barbellion Prize into the future.
Advisor to the Prize, Professor Tom Shakespeare FBA, Professor of Disability Research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, comments: "Writers with illnesses and impairments, from Robert Louis Stevenson to Flannery O'Connor to 'W.N.P. Barbellion' himself, have contributed mightily to literature. I applaud the creation of this new prize, hoping it will shine a spotlight on their contemporary successors."
Author and Assistant Professor of Literature, Dr Shahd Alshammari, and member of the 2020 judging panel says: "The Barbellion Prize seeks to amplify voices that are seldom heard, and if they are, they’re not heard enough. It is a privilege reading all this wonderful work and I hope that more publishers discover disabled writers’ writing."
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 disabled 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.
If you are an author, agent, or publisher wishing to submit a work, please consult our 'How To Submit A Work' page. If you have any questions, refer to our 'FAQs' or contact us in confidence via our email (see below).
What is important to us is not just any particular moral or message in a given work... but more so a greater visibility for, and a genuine illustration of, life with illness, disease, impairment, or disability.
You can find more resources at the bottom of our 'Authors Old & New' page.
OUR 2021 LONGLIST HAS NOW BEEN ANNOUNCED AND THE 2021 SHORTLIST WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER IN JANUARY 2022 (see our 'How To Submit a Work' page).