The SI Leeds Literary Prize is a biennial award founded in 2012 by Soroptimist International of Leeds (SI Leeds) – a branch of the worldwide women’s organization Soroptimist International – for unpublished fiction written by Black and Asian women resident in the UK. Submissions must be of more than 30,000 words of fiction and entrants must be aged 18 years and over. The prize offers support for writers to develop their work and to help build new audiences.
Described as “groundbreaking”, the prize has been developed and managed by SI Leeds in partnership with Ilkley Literature Festival and Leeds-based publishers Peepal Tree Press. Among other partners are The Literary Consultancy (TLC), Writing on the Wall (WOW), the Arvon Foundation, New Writing North, and Leeds Library and Information Service.
As of 2014, patrons of the prize include Bernardine Evaristo, Bidisha, Bonnie Greer, Carolyn Choa, Diana Evans, Diana Howse, Dreda Say Mitchell, Hannah Pool, Margaret Oldroyd (president of Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland), Maya Jaggi, Pippa Small, Sue Woodford-Hollick and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, with Margaret Busby as prize ambassador and Irenosen Okojie as prize advocate