Above: A selection of this year’s winners. Photo © Adrian Pope
Writers and poets from across generations were celebrating tonight (Monday 17th June) as the winners of the 2019 Society of Authors’ Awards were announced at a ceremony at Southwark Cathedral. Hosted by poet Jackie Kay MBE, with an introduction by the President of the SoA, Philip Pullman, 9 awards were presented to 32 writers with a host of debut names joining established award-winning writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry each sharing a prize fund of £100,000.
This ‘night of riches’, uniquely judged by writers for writers saw 500 guests from across the publishing industry come together as the winners of Betty Trask, McKitterick, Somerset Maugham, ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust awards and the inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize (awarded for a first novel by a writer over 60) were announced in addition to the Cholmondeley Awards for outstanding contribution to poetry, the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, five Travelling Scholarships and the Eric Gregory Awards for a collection of poems by poets under 30. The winners join an illustrious line of previous award winners including Zadie Smith, Seamus Heaney, Helen Dunmore, Hari Kunzru, Carol Ann Duffy and Mark Haddon.
Speaking about the Society of Authors’ Awards, Jackie Kay said:
I’m enormously proud and gratified to have been granted this most lovely opportunity of presenting writers with the Society of Authors’ Awards. These awards, I know from personal experience, are potentially life-changing. They bring writers in from the cold. They give writers a huge boost and validation. They tell them that their trials and tribulations have been worth it after all, after the long haul. Writing is a confidence game, and often writers’ confidence is shot to pieces. An award like this can put self-doubt in the cupboard for a while.
In an evening that celebrated diverse voices and the inclusivity and empathy that comes from gifted storytelling, winners included double Eric Gregory Award winner, poet Sophie Collins (a winner in 2014 and 2019) for Who is Mary Sue? (Faber & Faber), 2019 Women’s Prize longlisted Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, winner of the 2019 McKitterick Prize for Swan Song (Hutchinson), 70-year old debut author, Anne Youngson who won the inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize for Meet Me at the Museum (Doubleday); Manchester-born James Clarke who won the £10,000 Betty Trask Prize for The Litten Path (Salt), a story about the 1980s miners’ strike; Romany writer, Damian Le Bas who won both a Somerset Maugham Award for The Stopping Places (Chatto & Windus) and a Travelling Scholarship; 2019 Rathbones Folio prize-winning poet Raymond Antrobus who also received a Somerset Maugham Award for The Perseverence (Penned in the Margins); Syrian born Dima Alzayat winner of the ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award for Once We Were Syrians and Julian Jackson, winner of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography for A Certain Idea of France: The Life of Charles de Gaulle (Allen Lane).
The judges for each award, including Kate Mosse, Gary Younge, Mark Lawson, Anita Sethi, Vaseem Khan, Susan Hill, Stuart Evers, Irenosen Okojie and Jen Campbell were united in their praise for the ‘mesmeric, restless, genre-bending, emotionally devastating writing from 32 writers who have taken us from the miners’ strike and travelling communities, to Truman Capote’s mind, each exploring the gamut of human experience from friendship, family and belonging, to what it means to be other.’
The event was supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).
Betty Trask Prize & Awards
Photo © Tom Pilston
The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35. Judged by Ben Brooks, Elanor Dymott and Vaseem Khan. Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Total prize and award fund £26,250.
BETTY TRASK PRIZE WINNER: JAMES CLARKE FOR THE LITTEN PATH (SALT) AWARDED £10,000
JAMES CLARKE grew up in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, and after living in London and spending time overseas, returned to Manchester, where he now lives. His work has appeared in Ambit, Litro and Northwords Now magazines, and his debut novel, The Litten Path, published by Salt. JAMES LIVES IN MANCHESTER.
Ben Brooks, Betty Trask Judge says:
James Clarke has written a cinematic novel of such heart, desperation, and as artfully arranged as a Renaissance painting. It is a fearless portrait of fearful time, replete with moments of wonder, love, pain, anger and hope. The Litten Path is about the miners’ strike, it is also about the human cost of a system that is still spiralling wildly out of control. Both an important historical record and a warning of what’s to come.
BETTY TRASK AWARD WINNERS: SIX WRITERS EACH RECEIVE £2,700
SAMUEL FISHER FOR THE CHAMELEON (SALT)
Samuel Fisher is a bookseller at Burley Fisher Books, an independent bookshop in East London, as well as a director of independent publisher Peninsula Press. SAMUEL LIVES IN COLCHESTER, ESSEX.
IMOGEN HERMES GOWAR FOR THE MERMAID AND MRS HANCOCK (HARVILL SECKER)
Imogen Hermes Gowar studied Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History before going on to work in museums. She began to write fiction inspired by the artefacts she worked with, and in 2013 won the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholarship to study for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was a finalist in the Mslexia First Novel Competition, shortlisted for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award and the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018, and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 and HWA Debut Crown 2018. ORIGINALLY FROM LONDON, IMOGEN NOW LIVES IN BRISTOL.
RUQAYA IZZIDIEN FOR THE WATERMELON BOYS (HOOPOE/AUC PRESS)
Iraqi-Welsh Ruqaya Izzidien grew up in rural Wales before studying Modern Languages at Durham University. As a journalist, her work has appeared in the New York Times, Al Jazeera and the New Statesman. RUQAYA LIVED IN GAZA AND EGYPT BEFORE MOVING TO MOROCCO WHERE SHE LIVES HALF THE YEAR WITH THE OTHER HALF IN THE UK.
DAISY LAFARGE FOR PAUL (UNPUBLISHED)
Daisy Lafarge is a writer, editor and artist based in Edinburgh. In 2017 she received an Eric Gregory award from the Society of Authors, and a pamphlet, ‘understudies for air’ was published by Sad Press. She was recently runner up in the 2018 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and has published poetry and critical writing in a variety of online and print publications. Daisy is also Reviews Editor at MAP and writes and teaches at the University of Glasgow. ORIGINALLY FROM HASTINGS, DAISY NOW LIVES IN EDINBURGH.
REBECCA LEY FOR SWEET FRUIT, SOUR LAND (SANDSTONE PRESS)
Rebecca Ley grew up in Oxford. She has a degree in History of Art and Philosophy from University College London and a Masters in Creative Writing from City University. Rebecca writes essays as well as fiction and her recent essays have been published in Water Journal and shortlisted for the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize 2017. In 2016, she founded Wander Magazine, a quarterly literary journal. ORIGINALLY FROM OXFORD, REBECCA NOW LIVES IN LONDON.
SOPHIE MACKINTOSH FOR THE WATER CURE (HAMISH HAMILTON)
Sophie Mackintosh was born in South Wales and grew up in Pembrokeshire. When she started writing, her initial focus was on poetry, but gravitated towards prose fiction. She is bilingual and cites Welsh mythology and Angela Carter as influences. As of 2018, Sophie is working on her second novel. Her novel The Water Cure was released in May 2018. ORIGINALLY FROM PEMBROKESHIRE, SOPHIE NOW LIVES IN LONDON.
The McKitterick Prize
The McKitterick Prize is awarded to a first novel by a writer over 40. Judged by Susan Hill, Chris Taylor and Abir Mukherjee.
Photo © Adrian Pope
THE McKITTERICK PRIZE WINNER: KELLEIGH GREENBERG-JEPHCOTT FOR SWAN SONG (HUTCHINSON) AWARDED £4,000
Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott was born and raised in Houston, Texas, before coming to call Los Angeles and London her adopted homes. She is a graduate of UEA’s Creative Writing MA course and was the winner of the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award. Swan Song is her first novel. KELLEIGH WAS BORN IN HOUSTON, USA AND NOW LIVES IN LONDON.
Susan Hill, McKitterick Prize Judge says:
Capote is any novelist’s perfect character but the way Greenberg-Jephcott captures him, his mind, motives, strange contradictions, is brilliant. Almost better is her recreation of his six swans.
THE MCKITTERICK PRIZE RUNNER-UP: CARYS DAVIES FOR WEST (GRANTA BOOKS) AWARDED £1,250
Carys Davies’ short stories have been widely published in magazines and anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. They have won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s V S Pritchett Prize, and a Northern Writers’ Award, and her second collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2015. She lives with her family in Lancaster, England. CARYS WAS BORN IN LLANGOLLEN, WALES AND NOW LIVES IN LANCASTER.
ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award
Sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, The ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award is awarded for a short story by a writer who has had at least one short story accepted for publication. Judged by Stuart Evers and Irenosen Okojie.
Photo © Adrian Pope
THE ALCS TOM-GALLON TRUST AWARD WINNER: DIMA ALZAYAT FOR ONCE WE WERE SYRIANS AWARDED £1,000
Dima Alzayat’s short stories have appeared in the 2017 Bristol Short Story Award Anthology and the 2013 Bridport Prize Anthology. She was the winner of a 2018 Northern Writers’ Award, the 2017 Bristol Short Story Prize, runner-up in the 2018 Deborah Rogers Award, and was Highly Commended in the 2013 Bridport Prize. Currently, she is a PhD student and associate lecturer at Lancaster University and is working on a collection of short stories. DIMA WAS BORN IN DAMASCUS, SYRIA AND NOW LIVES IN GARSTANG, LANCASHIRE.
Irenosen Okojie, ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award Judge says:
Blistering. Bold. Utterly mesmeric. Explores what it means to be other with such verve, nuance and specificity. I was bowled over.
THE ALCS TOM-GALLON TRUST AWARD RUNNER-UP: BUNMI OGUNSIJI FOR BLESSING AWARDED £575
Bunmi Ogunsiji is a 52-year-old Nigerian-British south London-based writer, single mother and blogger. She began writing (initially poetry) as a shy teenager and in her twenties found her way to the stage as a Performance Poet with a few poems published in various anthologies along the way. In 1999 writing took a back seat to parenting but a passion for learning, cinema and ‘story’ led her in 2008 to an MA in Screenwriting at UAL. In 2011 she was shortlisted in the BBC ‘Get a Swiggle On’ Children’s TV competition and had a comedy drama longlisted in the BBC Script Room scheme in 2015. In 2016 she took a leap of faith and left her job as a Helpline Adviser for the Alzheimer’s Society to focus full time on writing. Since then she has been longlisted in the Mslexia Short Story Competition (2016), commended in the 2016 Bath Short Story Award and in 2017 was awarded 3rd prize in the Bristol Short Story Prize for ‘Things Carried Over’. She is also one of the thirty writers on the new London Writers Awards programme run by Spread the Word. BUNMI LIVES IN LONDON.
Stuart Evers, ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award Judge says:
A beautifully controlled, frequently very funny, and emotionally devastating story. ‘Blessing’ has at its heart a character that I was bereft to have to leave at the last heart-breaking lines.
Paul Torday Memorial Prize – inaugural year
The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize is awarded to a first novel by a writer over 60. Prize fund £1,000 plus a set of the collected works of British writer Paul Torday, who himself only published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the age of 60.
Photo © Adrian Pope
PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE WINNER: ANNE YOUNGSON FOR MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM (DOUBLEDAY) AWARDED £1,000. Age at publication: 70
Anne Youngson worked for many years in senior management in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. Meet Me at the Museum is her debut novel. ANNE LIVES IN OXFORDSHIRE.
Anita Sethi, Paul Torday Memorial Prize Judge says:
I loved this engrossing story of friendship and family – it fascinates both in the form of its excellent use of the epistolary, and in its content as it explores actual human archaeology and the archaeology of the human heart.
PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE RUNNER-UP: NORMA MACMASTER FOR SILENCE UNDER A STONE (DOUBLEDAY IRELAND) Age at publication: 81
Norma MacMaster was born and reared in County Cavan before continuing her studies in Derry, Dublin, Belfast and Montreal. She was a secondary school teacher and counsellor in Ireland and Canada and was ordained a minister of the Church of Ireland in 2004. A contributor to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio 1, she is the author of a memoir, Over My Shoulder. She and her late husband have one daughter. Norma lives by the sea in North County Dublin and wrote Silence Under A Stone ‘a bit now and a bit then’, typing with two fingers in her attic. It is her first novel. NORMA WAS BORN IN CAVAN AND LIVES IN DUBLIN.
Kate Mosse, Paul Torday Memorial Prize Judge says:
A beautiful, subtle, elegant novel! A story of closed communities, of the schisms of religion, of fear, and faith, of anger and being unable to forgive, this is a beautifully written and very moving story.
Somerset Maugham Award
SOMERSET MAUGHAM AWARD WINNERS: FOUR WRITERS EACH AWARDED £4,000
The Somerset Maugham Awards are for published works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by writers under 35, to enable them to enrich their work by gaining experience of foreign countries. Past winners include Hari Kunzru, Helen Oyeyemi, Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith and Jonathan Freedland.
RAYMOND ANTROBUS FOR THE PERSEVERANCE (Penned in the Margins) – POETRY
Ian Thomson, Somerset Maugham Judge says:
Raymond Antrobus, a Hackney-born British Jamaican poet, has given us a matchless verse collection in The Perseverance. The book combines the street-savvy language of London open mic sessions with grave reflections on belonging and cultural displacement. How are we to understand others? And how to make oneself understood? Antrobus poses these questions with a restless intelligence.
Raymond Antrobus was born in Hackney, London to an English mother and Jamaican father. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works iii and Jerwood Compton Poetry. He is one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word Education from Goldsmiths, University of London. Raymond is a founding member of Chill Pill and the Keats House Poets Forum. He has had multiple residencies in deaf and hearing schools around London, as well as Pupil Referral Units. In 2018 he was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Award by the Poetry Society (judged by Ocean Vuong). Raymond currently lives in London and spends most his time working nationally and internationally as a freelance poet and teacher. RAYMOND LIVES IN HACKNEY, LONDON.
DAMIAN LE BAS FOR THE STOPPING PLACES (CHATTO & WINDUS) – NON-FICTION
Barney Norris, Somerset Maugham Award Judge says:
The Stopping Places is a deeply valuable exploration of a community, of the nature of tradition, of the way history can shape us and ebb out of view.
Damian Le Bas was born in 1985 into a long line of Gypsies and Travellers. He was raised within a network of relations who taught him how to ride and drive ponies, tractors and trucks, sing melancholy cowboy ballads and speak the thousand-year-old Romani tongue. He was awarded scholarships to study at Christ’s Hospital and the University of Oxford. Between 2011 and 2015 he was the editor of Travellers’ Times, Britain’s only national magazine for Gypsies and Travellers. The Stopping Places is his first book. Damian lives and works mostly in Kent, with his wife (the actor Candis Nergaard); and Sussex, where he grew up and where his nan – who taught him the old Romany Travellers’ little-known routes and ways – both still live. DAMIAN LIVES IN WORTHING, SUSSEX.
PHOEBE POWER FOR SHRINES OF UPPER AUSTRIA (CARCANET) – POETRY
Ian Thomas, Somerset Maugham Award Judge says:
Shrines of Upper Austria interweaves poetry with prose in a beautiful exploration of notions of faith and world war in Europe.
Phoebe Power received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2012 and a Northern Writers’ Award in 2014. Her poems have been published in journals and anthologies including The Rialto, Oxford Poetry and The White Review. She has recently collaborated with other artists on projects including a live performance of her pamphlet ‘Harp Duet’ (Eyewear, 2016), and Christl, a video installation involving poetry, visual art and sound. She currently lives in York. PHOEBE WAS BORN IN NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE AND LIVES IN YORK.
NELL STEVENS FOR MRS GASKELL AND ME (PICADOR) – NOVEL
Jen Campbell, Somerset Maugham Award Judge says:
Genre-bending, funny and absolutely endearing.
Nell Stevens has a First in English and Creative Writing from Warwick, after which she went on to study Arabic and Comparative Literature at Harvard, and to receive a Marcia Trimble Fellowship and the Florence Engel Randall Graduate Fiction Award for her MFA in Fiction at Boston University. She was a finalist in the 2011 Elle magazine Writing Talent Contest, and a runner-up in both the 2014 Mslexia Memoir Competition and the 2015 Mslexia Short Story Prize. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award for The Minutes. NELL WAS BORN IN OXFORD AND LIVES IN LONDON.
Eric Gregory Awards
Awarded for a collection of poems by a poet under 30.
ERIC GREGORY AWARD WINNERS: SIX POETS EACH AWARDED £4,725
MARY JEAN CHAN FOR A HURRY OF ENGLISH
Mary Jean Chan was born and raised in Hong Kong, and studied at Swarthmore College, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London. Mary Jean’s debut collection Flèche is forthcoming from Faber & Faber (July 2019), and has been selected as a 2019 Poetry Book Society Autumn Recommendation. Her debut pamphlet, A Hurry of English, was selected as the 2018 Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem and came Second in the National Poetry Competition. She is a Ledbury Poetry Critic, editor of Oxford Poetry, advisory board member at the Poetry Translation Centre and member of the Folio Prize Academy. Mary Jean is Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University and lives in London. MARY JEAN CHAN LIVES IN LONDON.
SOPHIE COLLINS FOR WHO IS MARY SUE?
PREVIOUSLY AWARDED AN ERIC GREGORY AWARD IN 2014.
Sophie Collins grew up in Bergen, North Holland, and now lives in Edinburgh. She is the author of the poetry collection Who Is Mary Sue? (Faber & Faber, 2018) and small white monkeys (Book Works, 2017), a text on self-expression, self-help, and shame. SOPHIE COLLINS LIVES IN EDINBURGH.
SEÁN HEWITT FOR LANTERN
Seán Hewitt won the Resurgence Prize in 2017 and won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2016. His poetry has been published in The Poetry Review, POETRY (Chicago), and the New Statesman, amongst others, and his debut pamphlet was published by Offord Road Books in 2019. He read English at Girton College, Cambridge, and received his PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2017. He is currently a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin and is a book critic for The Irish Times. SEÁN HEWITT LIVES IN DUBLIN.
DOMINIC LEONARD FOR THIS MYSTERIOUS
Dominic Leonard studied English in Oxford and is now studying for an MA in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. His poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry London, Oxford Poetry, amberflora, The Scores, and are forthcoming in PN Review. In 2018 he was the runner-up for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Hollingworth Prize. DOMINIC LEONARD LIVES IN LEEDS.
JAMES CONOR PATTERSON FOR BANDIT COUNTRY
James Conor Patterson has a long track record of work published in magazines and journals including The Irish Times, Magma, New Statesman, Poetry Ireland Review, and The Stinging Fly. James was named Writer-in-Residence for the C.S. Lewis Festival in Belfast in 2018, winning the iYeats ‘Emerging Talent’ Award (August 2013), shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (October 2014), longlisted for the National Poetry Competition (2014 & 2017), highly commended for the Patrick Kavanagh Award (September 2015), and selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series (May 2015). In December 2014 James graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with an MA in Creative Writing. JAMES CONOR PATTERSON LIVES IN BELFAST.
PHOEBE STUCKES FOR PLATINUM BLONDE
Phoebe Stuckes is a writer from West Somerset. She has been a winner of the Foyle Young Poets award four times and is a former Barbican Young Poet. She has performed at the Southbank Centre, Waterstones Trafalgar Square, Wenlock Poetry Festival and was the Ledbury Festival young poet in residence in 2015. She has also read her work on BBC Radio 3. Her writing has appeared in The Rialto, The North, The Morning Star, Ash and Ambit. Her debut pamphlet, Gin & Tonic is available from Smith|Doorstop books and was shortlisted for The Michael Marks Award 2017. Her first full-length collection, Platinum Blonde, will be published by Bloodaxe Books in 2020. PHOEBE STUCKES IS FROM WEST SOMERSET.
THE CHOLMONDELEY AWARD WINNERS: FOUR POETS EACH AWARDED £2,100. PRESENTED FOR A BODY OF WORK BY A POET
Malika Booker is a British poet and multi-disciplinary artist of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage. Her writing collective Malika’s Poetry Kitchen has had a major impact on the British Poetic landscape. Booker is currently Creative Writing Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and the recipient of a Slate Award to research and develop her new play. Malika’s poetry collection Pepper Seed was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize and her poem Nine Nights was shortlisted on the Forward Prize for best Single Poem in 2017. She was Chair of Judges for the Forward Prize in 2016 and was inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company. MALIKA BOOKER LIVES IN MANCHESTER.
Fred D’Aguiar’s sixth poetry collection Continental Shelf (Carcanet) was a UK Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for the UK’s T.S. Eliot Prize 2009. His most recent, Translations From Memory (Carcanet). Born in London and brought up in Guyana, he teaches in the Department of English at UCLA. FRED D’AIGUIAR LIVES IN LONDON.
Allen Fisher is a poet, painter and art historian. He worked in the lead works, studied physics and human physiology, then art, drawing and colour at Goldsmiths, and is Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has 150 single author books in his name. Recent publications include the artbook Black Pond 7; essays in Imperfect Fit: Aesthetics, Facture & Perception (University of Alabama); and loggerheads, a book of poetry, prose and drawings. ALLEN FISHER LIVES IN MANCHESTER.
Jamie McKendrick has published seven poetry books including The Marble Fly (1997), winner of the Forward Prize, and Out There (2012), winner of the Hawthornden Prize, as well as two Selected Poems with Faber. His most recent book of poems is Anomaly (2018). He edited The Faber Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poems (2004), and has translated, among others, the six books of Giorgio Bassani’s The Novel of Ferrara published individually by Penguin Classics and as an ensemble by Penguin and Norton in the U.S. The Foreign Connection, a gathering of his essays, on art, poetry and translation is due to be published by Legenda next year. JAMIE MCKENDRICK IS FROM LIVERPOOL.
AWARDED TO FIVE BRITISH WRITERS TO ENABLE TRAVEL AND ENGAGEMENT WITH WRITERS ABROAD. £1600 EACH TO:
- KATHRYN HUGHES, writer and critic whose most recent book is Victorian Undone.
- DAMIAN LE BAS, Romany writer and author of The Stopping Places.
- NADIFA MOHAMED, novelist whose novels have previously won a Betty Trask Award and Somerset Maugham Award.
- JOHNY PITTS, writer, photographer and broadcast journalist.
- GWENDOLINE RILEY, author who has previously won a Somerset Maugham Award and Betty Trask Award.
Previous winners include Lemn Sissay, Eimear McBride and Ben Markovits.
The Society of Authors’ Awards is a unique evening of celebration with each award chosen by authors for authors and judged by celebrated authors, writers and poets; many former winners themselves. Supporting and empowering writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and giving them time and resources to enable creativity is a key part of the Society of Authors’ ethos and each award is uniquely gifted by patrons – often writers giving back to an industry they love.
About the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society: The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation started by writers for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers’ work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity, ensure they receive fair payment and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. It represents over 100,000 members, and since 1977 has paid around £500 million to writers (alcs.co.uk).