The ADCI Literary Prize

Author Penny Batchelor with publisher Clare Christian announcing the ADCI Literary Prize at the SoA Awards 2022 (photograph © Adrian Pope)
Author Penny Batchelor with publisher Clare Christian announcing the ADCI Literary Prize at the SoA Awards 2022 (photograph © Adrian Pope)
Encouraging greater positive representation of disability in literature

Launched in 2022, the ADCI (Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses) Literary Prize seeks to encourage greater positive representation of disability in literature.

Founded by author Penny Batchelor and publisher Clare Christian together with the Society of Authors, the prize is generously sponsored by Arts Council England, ALCS, the Drusilla Harvey Memorial Fund, and the Professional Writing Academy. 

Open to authors with a disability and/or chronic illness, the prize will call for entries of novels which include a disabled or chronically ill character or characters. The ADCI Literary Prize has a prize fund of £2,000.

The ADCI Literary Prize will re-open for submissions in summer 2023

The 2023 ADCI Literary Prize Shortlist

Deborah Jenkins for Braver published by Fairlight Books

Fiona Scott-Barrett for The Exit Facility (self-published)

Nicola Griffith for Spear published by Tordotcom Publishing

“It was a real pleasure to encounter such a range of works vying for this prize. There was a wide variety of subject matter and tone. In some cases, disability representation felt like the central purpose of the work. In others, disability was one of several elements woven into the story. This made comparing the novels tricky but interesting. I was very grateful to be able to work with Nii and Penny.”
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, 2023 ADCI Literary Prize judge

If you are interested in buying any of the books shortlisted here, please visit A percentage of each sale will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.

  • Deadline for entries: 31 October 2022
  • The author must self-identify as disabled or chronically ill.
  • The author must be a British national OR resident in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for three years prior to the date of submission for the award, and writing in English.
  • The work must be fiction and must contain one or more characters that are disabled and/or living with chronic illness (poetry, short stories, and works for children are not eligible).
  • Submissions must have been published or self-published in the UK between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022.

For any queries relating to the prize please contact [email protected]

With thanks, the judges of the 2023 ADCI Literary Prize:

Penny Batchelor

Penny Batchelor is an alumni of Faber Academy’s six month ‘Writing a Novel’ course and the author of two psychological thrillers, My Perfect Sister and Her New Best Friend, both published by RedDoor Press. My Perfect Sister was longlisted for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2020, and Her New Best Friend was described by LoveReading as ‘a white-knuckle tense thriller’. Her short story ‘The Debate’ is in an anthology called UnLocked, published in November 2023 to raise money for The Trussell Trust by a group of authors who all debuted in 2020. She is the co-founder and editor of the Thriller Women blog with fellow author EC Scullion and she and author Victoria Scott successfully campaigned for Amazon to introduce a disability fiction character for adults in their books section

Nydia Hetherington

© Andy Hebden

Nydia Hetherington is an author living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a systemic auto-immune disease that can effect her mobility and leaves her with chronic pain and fatigue. Although she grew up in Leeds, Nydia Hetherington’s first memories are of the Isle of Man, where she lived as a small child. After relocating to West Yorkshire, Nydia grew up dreaming of fairies and of the sea. In her early twenties she moved to London to embark on an acting career, then to Paris, where she continued her theatre training before creating a theatre company and becoming a clown (red nose included). Returning to London almost a decade later, Nydia worked in a shoe shop while studying for a creative writing degree at Birkbeck University when she became ill and was eventually diagnosed with RA. Nydia says ‘My favourite books often have a touch of the magical about them. At the same time, I love fierce writing that reaches into the depths of the human experience.’ Her debut novel, A Girl Made of Air was published by Quercus in September 2020.

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author of Harmless Like You, Starling Days and The Sleepwatcher. She is the editor of the Go Home! anthology. Her work has won The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award and has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Her work has been a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and an NPR Great Read. Her short work has appeared in several places including Granta, Guernica, The Atlantic, and the New York Times. She has received fellowships and residencies from Hedgebrook, Macdowell, Gladstones’ Library, AAWW, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Kundiman. More at

© Thom Bartley

Karl Knights

Karl Knights’ poetry and prose has appeared in The Guardian, The Poetry Review and elsewhere.
He won 2021’s New Poets Prize. His debut pamphlet, Kin, was published by the Poetry Business.

Julia Lund

Julia can’t remember a time when she didn’t think up stories; as a young child, she even made them up about her bedroom wallpaper. And her toes. From the moment she could talk, she told stories (her dad used to call her a mythomaniac), and from the moment she could read, she devoured them. Now, she gets to write them and can’t quite believe she hasn’t made that up, too.

© Rosa Ablah

Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a Ghanaian-British producer, social commentator and writer who has won acclaim as a children’s author, poet, broadcaster and novelist. Winner of multiple international awards including Ghana’s ACRAG award, he is the Senior Editor at flipped eye publishing, a trustee of the Caine Prize and serves on the editorial board of World Literature Today. Nii Ayikwei has served as a judge for several literature prizes including the Commonwealth Prize, the NSK Neustadt Prize and the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize. He is currently a Hutchins Family Fellow with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

Vikki Patis

© Vikki Patis

Vikki Patis is the bestselling author of psychological suspense. Her latest novel, Return to Blackwater House, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in March 2022.

She is represented by Emily Glenister at DHH Literary Agency and also writes historical fiction as Victoria Hawthorne. Her debut historical suspense novel, The House at Helygen, was published in April 2022 by Quercus. She lives in Scotland with her wife, two wild golden retrievers, and an even wilder cat.

Chloe Timms

© Lauren Baker

Chloe Timms is a writer, campaigner and podcast host from the Kent coast. After a career in teaching, Chloe studied for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Kent and won a scholarship for the Faber Academy. Chloe is passionate about disability rights, having been diagnosed with the condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 18 months old, and has campaigned on several crucial issues. In 2022 Chloe launched her podcast Confessions of a Debut Novelist. The Seawomen is her first novel.