SoA awards £94,000 in prizes for fiction, poetry, travel and historical biography

20 June 2017

Novelist and poet Ben Okri presented the prizes to writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, at a ceremony held at the Army & Navy Club, Pall Mall.

  • £35,000 was awarded in prizes for poetry (the Eric Gregory Awards and the Cholmondeley Awards)
  • £31,500 was awarded in prizes for fiction (the Betty Trask Prize, the Betty Trask Awards, the McKitterick Prize and the Tom-Gallon Trust Award)
  • £22,500 was awarded to enable authors to enrich their work through foreign travel (the Somerset Maugham Awards and the Travelling Scholarships)
  • £5,000 was awarded for historical biography (the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Fiction)

Debut novelist Daniel Shand took the £10,000 Betty Trask Prize, while impressive and inspiring new talents, including self-published Kathleen Jowitt and debut author David Dyer, were celebrated in the Betty Trask and McKitterick Awards.

Household names Philip Gross, Paula Meehan, Caroline Bergvall, Sasha Dugdale and James Sheard were among the established authors presented with this year’s Cholmondeley Awards.

John Bew won the £5,000 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography and non-fiction writers were also honoured in the Travelling Scholarships.

The Authors’ Awards are judged by writers, and many of the prizes are funded by bequests from writers. It is a very special occasion when authors come together to celebrate excellence across genres by writers young and old, new and established, at every stage in their writing careers.

All the winners

The Betty Trask Prize

DANIEL SHAND for FALLOW (Sandstone Press)

The £10,000 prize, from a bequest by Betty Trask in 1983, is given to a first novel of outstanding literary merit by an author under the age of 35, writing in a traditional or romantic style.

Judges: Simon Brett, Joanne Harris and Michèle Roberts.

The Betty Trask Awards

ROWAN HISAYO BUCHANAN for HARMLESS LIKE YOU (Hodder & Stoughton)

ELNATHAN JOHN for BORN ON A TUESDAY (Cassava Republic Press)

KATHLEEN JOWITT for SPEAK ITS NAME (Self-Published)

ROB McCARTHY for THE HOLLOW MEN (Hodder & Stoughton)

BARNEY NORRIS for FIVE RIVERS MET ON A WOODED PLAIN (Transworld)

The Betty Trask Awards, worth £3,000 each, are given to the five other authors shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize.

Read more about this year's prize and awards

The Cholmondeley Awards

CAROLINE BERGVALL, SASHA DUGDALE, PHILIP GROSS and PAULA MEEHAN

Each writer receives £2,000, from a fund founded by the late Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley in 1966 to recognise the achievement and distinction of individual poets.
Assessors: Paul Farley, Rod Mengham and Pascale Petit.

Read more about this year's awards

The Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography

JOHN BEW for CITIZEN CLEM (riverrun/Quercus)

A £5,000 prize generously sponsored by Flora Fraser and Peter Soros in affectionate memory of Elizabeth Longford, the acclaimed biographer.

Assessors: Richard Davenport-Hines, Roy Foster (Chair), Antonia Fraser, Flora Fraser and Munro Price

Read more about this year's prize (originally announced in April)

The Eric Gregory Awards

RACHAEL ALLEN, ISABEL GALLEYMORE, DAISY LAFARGE, RICHARD O’BRIEN, RICHARD OSMOND and MARK PAJAK

£4,500 awarded to each poet, all under the age of 30 for a collection of work.

Judges: Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Rumens and Ahren Warner.

Read more about this year's awards

The McKitterick Prize

DAVID DYER for THE MIDNIGHT WATCH (Atlantic Books)

A prize of £4,000 endowed by a former editor of the Political Quarterly Tom McKitterick and given to an author over the age of 40 for a first novel, published or unpublished. Also commended was runner-up AUSTIN DUFFY for THIS LIVING AND IMMORTAL THING (Granta).

Judges: Frances Fyfield, Aamer Hussein and Christina Koning.

Read more about this year's prize

The Somerset Maugham Awards

EDMUND GORDON for THE INVENTION OF ANGELA CARTER (Chatto & Windus)

MELISSA LEE-HOUGHTON for SUNSHINE (Penned in the Margins)

MARTIN MACINNES for INFINITE GROUND (Atlantic Books)

Each author receives £5,000 from a fund, set up by W. Somerset Maugham in 1947, to enable young writers to enrich their work through foreign travel. Awards are given for a published work of any genre (other than drama) by a writer under 35. This year’s winners include a non-fiction writer, a poet and a novelist.

Judges: Jen Campbell. Philip Hensher and Joanna Kavenna.

Read more about this year's awards

The Tom-Gallon Trust Award

FRANCES THIMANN for SHELLS

A £1,000 award for a short story, founded by the author and publicist Nellie Tom-Gallon in memory of her writer brother. The runner up is BECKY TIPPER for THE RABBIT.
Judges: Paul Bailey and Fay Weldon.

Read more about this year's award

The Travelling Scholarships

AMY LIPTROT, ROSS RAISIN and JAMES SHEARD

Three writers each receive £2,500 to be used for the stimulus of foreign travel.

Assessors: Claire Armistead, Adam O’Riordan, Sameer Rahim and Jane Ridley.

Read more about this year's scholarships

Photographs © Adrian Pope

Listen to the full presentation of awards and Ben Okri's speech here:

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