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Clare Hall PhD Student Jade Cuttle wins the inaugural non-fiction Morley Prize for her book ‘Silthood’

25 October 2023 Students

Our warmest congratulations to Jade Cuttle, who was recently awarded the inaugural non-fiction Morley Prize for her “stunning, original, genre-bending” nature book ‘Silthood.’
Jade Cuttle, pictured center left.

The Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour was founded by Morley College London and Rachel Morley Literary Agency in 2021, and is designed to nurture and provide opportunities for aspiring writers, promote diversity across the broader literary landscape of Britain and continue Morley’s long history of educational excellence, community engagement, and support for social justice. In 2023, the Prize expanded into two independent categories: the previously-established Fiction category being joined by Life Writing and Creative Non-fiction (won for the first time by Jade Cuttle).

Jade is AHRC-funded PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Cambridge, researching the work of British nature poets of colour.

It’s fantastic to be the inaugural winner of Rachel Mills Agency and Morley College’s non-fiction prize. I left a great job at The Times to travel and write this strange muddy nature book about my search for ‘silthood’, tracing the ancient kinlines between soil and self. I’ve slept in jungles, mountains, even my garden shed, and immersed myself in mudlarking, medieval re-enacting, and metal detecting. I’m excited now more than ever to find the agent and publisher to bring this book into the world.

-Jade Cuttle

Lead Non-fiction Prize judge Marianne Tatepo, Publishing Director, Square Peg, VINTAGE (Penguin Random House UK), said: “We stepped into the world of Silthood, where nature comes to life in an almost anthropomorphic way. It’s a stunning, original, genre-bending entry in the non-fiction category.”

The winners receive £500 prizes, and an individual editorial consultation with an agent on their work – opportunities available to very few budding authors, but advice and connections which for those without access might mean the difference in achieving a career as a writer.

Read more about Jade on her website ( and follow her on Twitter @JadeCuttle