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The Authors' Awards 2012

Archived news: 14 June 2012

Our annual awards and prizes judged by writers

£65,000 of prize money for twenty-three writers

Biographer Claire Tomalin (pictured) presented our awards at a reception at the Army and Navy Club on Thursday 14 June:

'as a writing community we are all so grateful to the people who have funded prizes... it is a true and lasting generosity and has an effect that goes on and builds.'

The event, celebrating seven literary awards, and twenty-three winning writers, was introduced by the Chair of the Society, novelist Lindsey Davis.

Among this year’s winners, who between them shared £65,000 in prize money, are biographer Frances Wilson, who received the £5,000 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography from Flora Fraser, winner of the £4,000 McKitterick Prize, Ginny Baily, who will be appearing later this summer at the Marlborough Literary Festival, and first novelists, film-maker David Whitehouse who won the £8,000 Betty Trask Prize, and Trask award-winner Annabel Pitcher for her crossover novel, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, which was also shortlisted for this year’s CILIP Carnegie Medal.  Also awarded, for the first time, was The British Council Award for ELT Writing, a new prize of £1,000 recognising an outstanding contribution in the field.

Seven poets, all under 30, won the year’s Eric Gregory Awards – Sophie F. Baker, Joey Connolly, Holly Corfield Carr, Caleb Klaces, Rachael Madeleine Nicholas, Phoebe Power and Jon Stone.  They will be performing at the Ledbury Festival on Friday, 6 July from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

Claire Tomalin commended the Eric Gregory winners:

'Prizes are best for the young, who need that encouragement and help most.'

The winners

£65,000 awarded to twenty-three writers

The Elizabeth Longford Prize (£5,000)

Sponsored by Flora Fraser and Peter Soros.

Winner: Frances Wilson for How to Survive the Titanic or The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay (Bloomsbury).

Judges: Roy Foster, Lady Antonia Fraser DBE, Flora Fraser, David Gilmour, Munro Price.

The Travelling Scholarships

(awards enabling authors to keep in touch with colleagues abroad)

Winners: Stella Duffy, Matthew Hollis and Justin Marozzi each received £2,000.

Judges: Claire Armistead, Jim Crace, Kay Dunbar, Adam Mars-Jones, Caroline Moorehead.

The McKitterick Prize (£4,000)

(for first novels by writers over the age of 40)

Winner: Ginny Baily for Africa Junction (Harvill Secker).

Runner up: Cressida Connolly for My Former Heart (Fourth Estate).

Judges: Paul Bailey, Terence Blacker, Mavis Cheek.

This year’s McKitterick winner will be appearing at the Marlborough Literary Festival (Wiltshire) at 4.30pm on Saturday 29 September. The festival runs from Friday 28 September to Sunday 30 September 2012. Find out more

The Betty Trask Prize (£8,000)

(for first novels, traditional or romantic, by writers under 35)

Winner: David Whitehouse for Bed (Canongate).

Betty Trask Awards

(for first novels, traditional or romantic, by writers under 35)

Winners: Kalinda Ashton for The Danger Game (Tindal Street Press), Elizabeth Day for Scissors, Paper, Stone (Bloomsbury), Annabel Pitcher for My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece (Orion/Indigo), Emma Jane Unsworth for Hungry the Stars and Everything (Hidden Gem Press), who each receceived £3,000.

Judges: Frances Fyfield, Mike Gayle, Fay Weldon.

The Cholmondeley Awards

(recognising achievement and distinction in poetry)

Winners: Christine Evans, Don Paterson, Peter Riley, Robin Robertson received £2,000 each.

Judges: Gillian Clarke, Ian Patterson, Fiona Sampson, Jo Shapcott.

The Eric Gregory Awards

(for collections by poets under the age of 30)

Winners: Sophie Baker, Joey Connolly, Holly Corfield Carr, Caleb Klaces, Rachael Nicholas,
Phoebe Power
and Jon Stone received £3,000 each.

Judges:Moniza Alvi, Polly Clark, John Greening, Sophie Hannah, Adam O’Riordan, Carol Rumens.

Six of this year's seven winners of the Eric Gregory Awards will be reading at the Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road on Friday 15 June. Readings start at 7.30pm; £5 entry. Find out more. They will also be appearing at the Ledbury Poetry Festival on Friday 6 July at 2:30pm – 3:30pm.

The British Council Award for ELT writing (£1,000)

(a new award celebrating the best writing for English Language Teaching)

Winner: Michael Swan and Catherine Walter for Oxford English Grammar Course – Advanced (OUP). £1,000. Specially commended: Johanna Stirling for Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners (Johanna Stirling/Lulu).

Judges: Ingrid Freebairn, Judy Garton-Sprenger, Alan Maley.



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