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The Authors' Awards 2013

13 June 2013

Our annual awards and prizes judged by writers.

£70,000 of prize money for twenty-four writers

The awards and prizes were presented by the poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy CBE, FRSL on Thursday 13 June at the Army and Navy Club, London. The Society's Chair, biographer Anne Sebba (pictured right), introduced the event celebrating 24 writers and the presentation of nine literary awards.

The Poet Laureate presented £1,500 Cholmondeley Awards to Simon Armitage and Paul Farley, for their body of work and contribution to poetry, and £4,000 Eric Gregory Awards to four poets under 30 (she herself had won an Eric Gregory Award in 1984 and a Cholmondeley in 1992) at the Authors’ Awards this year.

In the 54th year of the Eric Gregory Awards, the four winners (John Clegg, Kate Gething-Smith, Matt Haw and Oli Hazzard) will be reading at The Bell in Aldgate on Friday 14 June (details here).

Amongst the 24 authors, who received a total of £70,000 between them, McKitterick Prize winner (£4,000 for a first novel by a writer over 40) Alison Moore will be talking to the Society’s Awards Secretary Paula Johnson about her prizewinning novel The Lighthouse, which was also on The Man Booker shortlist, at the Marlborough Literary Festival at 4.30pm on Saturday 28 September.

£8,000 Betty Trask Prize winner Grace McCleen also won this year’s Desmond Elliot Prize with her first novel The Land of Decoration, and £4,000 Somerset Maugham winner Ned Beauman was shortlisted for both this and the Guardian First Book Award with his novel The Teleportation Accident.

£2,500 Betty Trask Award winner, Francesca Segal also won the Costa First Novel Award for The Innocents. Lucy Wood was singled out twice at the 2013 awards, winning a £4,000 Somerset Maugham Award (another award Carol Ann Duffy won, in 1988) for her collection of short stories Diving Belles and as runner up in the £1,000 Tom-Gallon Trust Award, won, this year, by teacher Samuel Wright.  

The 2013 winners


The Elizabeth Longford Prize (£5,000)


Generously sponsored by Flora Fraser and Peter Soros.

Winner: Anne Somerset for Queen Anne - The Politics of Passion (Harper Press).

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




The British Council Award for ELT Writing (£2,000)

Generously sponsored by The British Council.

Winner: Jeremy Harmer for Essential Teacher Knowledge - Core Concepts in English Language Teaching (Pearson).

Specially commended: Jeremy Taylor and Jon Wright for IELTS Advantage Reading Skills (Delta Publishing).

Judges: Jan Bell, Desmond O'Sullivan, Catherine Walter.

The Travelling Scholarships (£6,000)

Awards that enable authors to travel and keep in touch with colleagues abroad. Established in 1944 by an anonymous sponsor.

Winners: Elizabeth Cook, James Fergusson, Kathleen Jamie and Olivia Laing. Each received £1,500.

Judges: Claire Armistead, Jim Crace, Adam Mars-Jones, Caroline Moorehead and Christopher Potter.

The Somerset Maugham Awards (£10,000)

These awards enable writers to enrich their work through foreign travel and are given for a published work of any genre (except drama) by a writer under 35.

Winners: Ned Beauman for The Teleportation Accident (Sceptre), Abi Curtis for The Glass Delusion (Salt), Joe Stretch for The Adult (Cape) and Lucy Wood for Diving Belles (Bloomsbury). Each received £2,500.

Judges: Bidisha, William Fiennes and Benjamin Markovits.

The Betty Trask Prize (£8,000)


For first novels, traditional or romantic, non-experimental, by writers under 35.

Winner: Grace McCleen for The Land of Decoration (Chatto and Windus).

Judges: Elizabeth Buchan, Peter Kemp and Fay Weldon.




The Betty Trask Awards (£12,000)

For first novels, traditional or romantic, non-experimental, by writers under 35.

Winners: Chibundu Onuzo for The Spider King's Daughter (Faber) received £7,000, Francesca Segal for The Innocents (Chatto and Windus) received £2,500, and Will Wiles for Care of Wooden Floors (Fourth Estate) received £2,500.

Judges: Elizabeth Buchan, Peter Kemp and Fay Weldon.



The McKitterick Prize (£4,000)


The McKitterick Prize is awarded annually to an author over the age of 40 for a first novel, published or unpublished.

Winner: Alison Moore for The Lighthouse (Salt).

Runner-up: Caroline Brothers for Hinterland (Bloomsbury).

Judges: Paul Bailey, Mavis Cheek and Roma Tearne.



The Tom-Gallon Trust Award (£1,000)

Generously supported by The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, this is an annual prize of £1,000 for a short story. Published and unpublished stories may be entered.

Winner: Samuel Wright for Best Friend received £1,000.

Runner-up: Lucy Wood for Wisht.

Judges: Elanor Dymott and Aamer Hussain.


The Cholmondeley Awards (£6,000)

Recognising achievement and distinction in poetry.

Winners: Simon Armitage, Paul Farley, Lee Harwood and Medbh McGuckian. Each received £1,500.

Judges: Gillian Clarke, Ian Patterson, Fiona Sampson and Michael Symmons Roberts.


The Eric Gregory Awards

For collections by poets under the age of 30.

Winners: John Clegg, Kate Gething-Smith, Matt Haw and Oli Hazzard. Each received £4,000.

Judges: Moniza Alvi, Polly Clark, John Greening, Daljit Nagra, Adam O'Riordan and Carol Rumens.

There will be a reading by the Eric Gregory winners on Friday 14 June at The Bell in Aldgate. More details here.


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