Alumna launches writing competition for authors with disabilities

The image shows Penny Batchelor with a stack of her books titled 'My Perfect Sister' and 'Her new best friend'.

Alumna Penny Batchelor and her publisher Clare Christian have collaborated to create the ADCI Literary Prize, an annual literary award aiming to encourage disability representation in literature.

Penny Batchelor (Information and Library Management 2005) is an author, freelance journalist, former BBC content producer, and website editor for various educational institutions. 

As a vocal campaigner for disability representation in publishing and bookselling, Penny, alongside her publisher Clare, identified a need for a literary prize for authors with disabilities whilst Penny was working on her debut novel, My Perfect Sister. 

Launched in 2022, the ADCI (Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses) Literary Prize seeks to encourage greater positive representation of disabilities in literature.  

Sponsored by Arts Council England, ALCS, the Drusilla Harvey Memorial Fund, the Hawthornden Literary Retreat, and the Professional Writing Academy, the prize will become part of the Society of Authors Awards, joining ten other annual awards for fiction, poetrynon-fiction, and illustration. 

The prize is open to authors with a disability and/or chronic illness who submit novels including a disabled or chronically ill character or characters. The winner will receive £1,000 and two runners-up will each receive £500. 

At the launch event for the ADCI Literary Prize, Penny said: 

“The prize will make a great difference in highlighting the importance of positive disability representation in our culture, as well as raising the profile of DCI authors and their books to readers and the wider publishing industry.” 

For more information and how to apply, please visit The Society of Authors website. 

Submissions close on 31 October.