Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award

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 2021 Prize is now closed.


  • 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 2021. 
  • 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 23 June 2020 and 31 August 2021.  
  • 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. 

The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2020 winner was Jay Bernard for Surge (Chatto & Windus)

The judges chose Bernard from a shortlist of 5 that also contained Catherine Cho (for the memoir Inferno), poet Seán Hewitt (for Tongues of Fire), alongside the novelists Naoise Dolan (for Exciting Times) and Marina Kemp (for Nightingale).