Sierra Leonean Wins Mo Siewcharran Prize 2022


The Sierra Leone-born Scotland-based Mannah received £2,500 plus editorial feedback in the form of a two-to-three-page editorial letter from a Quercus editor, as well as a follow-up one-hour editorial session with a Quercus editor, either online or in person.

The Mo Siewcharran Prize was established to discover new underrepresented talent in memory of Nielsen BookData’s former director of marketing and communications Mo Siewcharran. It is co-founded and sponsored by her husband John Seaton and Nielsen.

This year, the prize will be hosted by Quercus Books and focused on fiction writing in the crime and thriller genre specifically. The first round was judged by members of Quercus and employees from other Hachette UK divisions. The shortlist, winner, and the runner-up were judged by Quercus fiction publisher Cassie Browne, Quercus publisher Stefanie Bierwerth and the winner of the 2021 prize Santanu Bhattacharya.

The shortlist was announced on September 13 with Faaiza Munir, Foday Mannah, Kalbinder Dayal, Felicity Yeoh, Kingsley Pearson in the running. The winner of the award was announced at a ceremony in London, UK with Foday Mannah getting first place while Faaiza Munir and Kalbinder Dayal came second and third. Foday Mannah’s project goes by the name The Search For Othella Savage.

Mannah said, “Honoured and humbled.  Very important for our African writing to feature in all genres, including crime and thrillers.”

Foday Mannah is also currently in the running for the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2022.