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Morley Prize Podcast

Billy Kahora

Morley Prize Podcast

Series 2 Episode 1: Billy Kahora


This month (May 2022) marks the launch of the Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour 2022. In our debut year last year, we received just over 70 submissions of manuscripts of fiction. This year, we’ve expanded the Prize to include non-fiction.


In this episode, Florence interviews Billy Kahora, a lecturer in Creative Writing at Bristol University, and returning judge on the Prize. The famous Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o describes Kahora as ‘a painter with words’ adding that Billy ‘ makes the reader see and touch and smell and feel characters and their inner turmoil as they try to survive, against the challenges of nature and nurture’. Here, Billy talks about the multi-faceted nature of his writing career and gives some useful tips to entrants of literary competitions.


Our series of podcasts accompanying the Prize this year showcases a wide range of writers, not only in terms of the content and form of their work (from memoir to novel) but also their writing journey (from self-taught to professionally trained). It’s heartening to know that people from a myriad of backgrounds can become published writers and appeal to an increasingly wide readership with an increasingly diverse appetite for literature.


The Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour is a new annual prize jointly presented by Morley College London and the Rachel Mills Literary Agency, awarded to a previously unpublished aspiring author of colour.


The prize is intended to nurture and provide opportunities for aspiring novelists of colour, promote diverse fiction across the broader literary landscape of Britain and continue Morley College’s long history of educational excellence, community engagement, and support for social justice.