May 17th, 2021

The 2021 Pontas & JJ Bola Emerging Writers Prize Shortlist

We are delighted to announce the Shortlist of the first edition of the Pontas & JJ Bola Emerging Writers Prize. The standard of entries was incredibly high, and we want to thank everyone who submitted their debut novel-in-progress to the prize. Our discussions were very interesting, and we are excited to discover so many different voices from a very vast array of backgrounds. As such, as well as announcing the Shortlist, we have included a Special Mentions category for writers that we enjoyed and think have a lot of potential but didn’t make the shortlist.


  • The Tides that Bind Us by Faiza Hasan
  • The Silent Treatment by Bhavika Govil
  • Between the Train and the Platform by Selali Fiamanya
  • For Fatima by Musih Tedji Xaviere
  • White Hill by Cal Walters

Special Mentions:

  • He Doesn’t Live Here Anymore by Santanu Bhattacharya
  • I’ll See you Soon by Laverne Caprice
  • Dwell Where the Flowers Bloom by Michael Elias
  • Endings by Chloe Johnson
  • Disappearing by Moyette Marrett

The winner of the Pontas & JJ Bola Emerging Writers Prize will be announced on June 1st, and will receive a 1,000 GBP grant to support their writing, mentoring from JJ Bola and Maria Cardona as well as representation from the Pontas Literary & Film Agency.

“I want to thank all the writers who submitted to the prize, with a particular thank you to the special mentions. So much creativity and so many amazing stories, no matter the outcome you should all feel proud of your efforts, and ever inspired to keep writing and moving forwards on your journey. And a big congratulations to the shortlisted writers. The team and I fell in love with all your stories, so its going to be incredibly difficult to chose a winner but we feel very privileged to be able to do so. And look forward to working with you to bring your writing to the world.” —JJ Bola

Congratulations to all!

For media requests please contact Maria Cardona.