Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award

For full-length fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged 18-35

The Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award is an annual award, made possible by the Charlotte Aitken Trust and the Sunday Times. The prize of £10,000 is awarded for a full-length published or self-published (in book or ebook formats) work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by a British or Irish author aged 18-35 years. There are prizes of £1,000 for each shortlistee. The winning book will be the work of the most outstanding literary merit. 

The 2022 Prize is now open for submissions and will close on 31 August.


  • UK and Irish citizens and those who have been resident in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland for the three years preceding the award are all eligible.
  • The author must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years on 31 December 2022. 
  • The work submitted must be by one author in the English language. 
  • The work submitted must have been first published in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland, in the English language, between 1 September 2021 and 31 October 2022.  
  • The work submitted must be by a living author.
  • Ebooks must be submitted in PDF format. 
  • Publishers may enter up to three entries per imprint and may provide a written submission for one further title for possible call in. 
  • Full terms and conditions for entry can be found on the entry form via the Enter Now button above.

For any queries relating to the prize please contact prizes@societyofauthors.org

2020
Winner:
Jay Bernard
for Surge (Chatto & Windus)
Shortlisted:
Catherine Cho
for Inferno (Bloomsbury)
Seán Hewitt for Tongues of Fire (Penguin Books)
Marina Kemp for Nightingale (HarperCollins)

2019
Winner:
Raymond Antrobus
for The Perseverance (Penned in the Margins)
Shortlisted:
Julia Armfield
for Salt Slow (Picador)
Yara Rodrigues Fowler for Stubborn Archivist (Fleet, Little, Brown)
Kim Sherwood for Testament (Quercus)

2018
Winner:
Adam Weymouth
for Kings of the Yukon (Particular Books)
Shortlisted:
Fiona Mozley
for Elmet (John Murray)
Laura Freeman for The Reading Cure (W&N)
Imogen Hermes Gowar for The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock (Vintage)

2017
Winner:
Sally Rooney
for Conversations with Friends (Faber & Faber)
Shortlisted:
Julianne Pachico
for The Lucky Ones (Faber & Faber)
Claire North for The End of the Day (Orbit)
Sara Taylor for The Lauras (Windmill Books)
Minoo Dinshaw for Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman (Allen Lane)

2016
Winner:
Max Porter
for Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber & Faber)
Shortlisted:
Andrew McMillan
for physical (Jonathan Cape)
Jessie Greengrass for An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It (JM Originals)
Benjamin Wood for The Ecliptic (Scribner)

2015
Winner:
Sarah Howe
for Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus)
Her book of poetry was also awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Shortlisted:
Ben Fergusson
for The Spring of Kasper Meier (Abacus)
Sunjeev Sahota for The Year of the Runaways (Picador)
Sara Taylor for The Shore (Windmill Books)

2009 Winner – Ross Raisin for God’s Own Country (Penguin)
His novel was also awarded a Betty Trask Award in 2008.

2008 Adam Foulds for The Truth about These Strange Times (Weidenfeld)

2007 Naomi Alderman for Disobedience (Viking)

2004 Robert Macfarlane for Mountains of the Mind (Granta)

2003 William Fiennes for The Snow Geese (Granta)

2001 Zadie Smith for White Teeth (Hamish Hamilton)

2000 Sarah Waters for Affinity (Little, Brown)

1999 Paul Farley for The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You (Macmillan)

1998 Patrick French for Liberty or Death (HarperCollins)

1997 Francis Spufford for I May Be Some Time (Faber & Faber)

1996 Katherine Pierpoint for Truffle Beds (Faber & Faber)

1995 Andrew Cowan for Pig (Michael Joseph)

1994 William Dalrymple for City of Djinns (HarperCollins)

1993 Simon Armitage for Kid (Faber & Faber)

1992 Caryl Phillips for Cambridge (Bloomsbury)

1991 Helen Simpson for Four Bare Legs in a Bed (Heinemann)