The winner of a competition to find the best unpublished fiction by black and Asian women will be decided next week.

A shortlist of six for the Soroptimists International (SI) Leeds Literary Prize will be whittled down to one by a panel of judges to reveal the winner at the Ilkley Literature Festival next week.

Launched by chairman of judges Margaret Busby as part of the Ilkley Literature Festival 2011, the prize has been enthusiastically received, with a flood of entries.

The winner will be announced by Mrs Busby at the Ilkley Playhouse on Wednesday, October 3, and will take home a cheque for £2,000 and a newly commissioned trophy created by Yorkshire artist Seiko Kinoshita.

The shortlist for the prize is: The Book of Ghosts by Katy Massey; A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing by Emily Midorikawa; Borrowed Light by Karen Onojaife; A Little Dust on the Eye by Minoli Salgado; The Weekend for Sex and other stories by Anita Sivakumaran; and Storybank: The Milkfarm Years by Jane Steele Two of the shortlisted writers are Yorkshire-based. Katy Massey is from Leeds and works as a community artist and creative writing tutor through her company Sshe entered the contest because “the SI prize is well-placed to find buried literary treasure, as well as cracking stories which announce themselves from the first paragraph”, she said.

Jane Steele was born in Chapeltown, Leeds, and now lives in Bradford. She has loved writing and performance from being very young. “Currently, many black and Asian women may have a book in them but due to many factors it may never see the light of day,” she said.

“I’d like to include northern working-class women in the pantheon of people who often think, ‘writing a book? Not for the likes of me’. With all that in mind, it's vital that everyone's voice has an approachable and respectful platform.”

At the event, prize patron Bonnie Greer and Mrs Busby will be discussing the need for the competition and the exciting future for writing by black and Asian women.

There will then be readings from three of the shortlisted authors before the announcement of the winner.

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