#Merky Books has snapped up #Merky Books’ New Writers’ Prize 2024 winning novel Wimmy Road Boyz by Sufiyaan Salam. Commissioning Editor Linda Mohamed acquired world rights including film and TV from Liv Maidment at Madeleine Millburn Literary, TV & Film Agency. #Merky Books will publish the book in spring 2026.

Now in its fifth year, the prize aims to discover unpublished, underrepresented writers aged 18-35 from the UK and Ireland. The winner is awarded a publishing contract with musician Stormzy’s publishing imprint #Merky Books at Penguin Random House UK. Salam, 26, won the prize, which received 800 submissions, in February. He is a writer from Manchester who works across various mediums including screen, theatre and prose. 

Set over the course of a single, surreal night, Wimmy Road Boyz follows three British-Muslim men in their early 20s who drive up and down Manchester’s Curry Mile, bringing all sorts of baggage with them. In pursuit of a wild time, these boys don’t yet know that their first night out in so long will also be their last. 

Mohamed said: ‘As soon as I read the first few lines of Wimmy Road Boyz, I knew Sufiyaan’s novel was something special. It is blistering, astute and chaotic in the best way. It captured my attention from the get-go and left me craving more. Sufiyaan explores class politics, masculinity, faith and the hardships of being in your twenties with a feverish energy on the page that I found absolutely addictive. I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him to #Merky Books and to publish his debut. He is an incredible talent.’

Salam said: ‘It’s been such a trip getting these crazy, yapping characters out of my head and onto the page, and I couldn’t be happier working on the novel with the combined talent of my agent Liv Maidment, my editor Linda Mohamed and the #Merky Books team. The previous New Writers’ Prize winners have all set a ridiculously high bar and I can’t wait for Wimmy Road Boyz— an ode to chaotic friendships set amidst the cacophony of the Curry Mile — to sit alongside them. Let’s go!’