The Shakespeare Memorial Awards


The Shakespeare Memorial Prize for Literature 2021 is an annual initiative of the World Writers’ Association (WoWA) to recognize the 7 most prolific authors across the 7 continents in the world. The Prize, which is the first of its kind globally, is named after the pre-eminent English poet and playwright, William Shakespeare (1634- 1616).

The Award targets global writers living in the seven continents in the world – and brings together Scholars, Writers, Literary Veterans, Book Enthusiasts, Booksellers, Policymakers, and the Youth from across the world – to marked the anniversary of William Shakespeare on 23rd April every year.

The goal of the SMPL is to award seven (7) literary prizes to the world’s 7 most prolific authors from the seven continents in the world. It’s also meant to engage a global narrative on the life and works of William Shakespeare, the state of world literature, and the hope of renaissance.

The theme for the 2021 Shakespeare Memorial Prize for Literature is ‘’Harmonizing Indigenous Languages of The World: The Role of Writers’ In Cultural Preservation’’.

Launched by the World Writers’ Association in 2020, the Prize is open to all continents participating in the programme for the cultural and creative sectors.

The SMPL will be an organized consortium consisting of the African Writers’ Development Trust (AWDT), the European Writers’ Council, the Australian Writers Association, the International Authors Forum (IAF), the UAE Writers Union, the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association, Association of Writers and Writing Program (AWP), Antarctic Artists & Writers Program (AAW) and the American Writers’ Association (AWA). These organizations are from across the seven continents in the world, namely: AfricaAntarcticaAsiaAustralia/OceaniaEuropeNorth America, and South America


The Prize aims to:

  • showcase and put a spotlight on the world’s diverse wealth of contemporary fiction;
  • raise the profile of winning authors outside their home country/continent and help them cross borders and reach broader readership;
  • raise general awareness and stimulate interest in the whole book sector about the literary diversity in the World;
  • promote actively the publishing, translation, selling and reading of books from other countries/continents in the world; 
  • Encourage transnational circulation of literature globally. 


The Prize competition is open to the continents currently involved in the programme. Each year, global juries in the 7 the participating continents nominate their winning authors, making it possible for all continents and language areas to be represented over a three-month cycle. The global expert juries make independent quality assessments while respecting established basic criteria, in particular:

  • The author must be a citizen of one of the countries/continent participating in a given year.
  • The author must have published between 25 and 100/nonfiction works of fiction.
  • The book for which the Prize is awarded must be the latest work of the author and published in English language or French.
  • Only participating continents can nominate authors for the award every year.

Due to Covid-19, the event will be held online. The call for applications will be open in March and the winners will be announced on 23rd April, 2021.

Note: The list of the 7 most prolific writers from across the 7 continents in the world, will be posted on the website of the World Writers’ Association, and on Wikipedia.

For any additional information, please send an email to