Betty Trask Prize & Awards

For first novels by authors under 35

Betty Trask left a bequest to the Society of Authors in 1983 to fund prizes for first novels written by authors under the age of 35 in a traditional or romantic, but not experimental, style.

2021 Betty Trask Prize Winner

Thomas McMullan for The Last Good Man (Bloomsbury)

2021 Betty Trask Award Winners

  • Maame Blue for Bad Love (Jacaranda Books)
  • Eley Williams for The Liar’s Dictionary (William Heinemann, Cornerstone)
  • Kiran Millwood Hargrave for The Mercies (Pan Macmillan, Picador)
  • Nneoma Ike-Njoku for The Water House 
  • Graeme Armstrong for The Young Team (Pan Macmillan, Picador)

The Betty Trask Prize & Awards are currently closed for entries. The 2022 round will open from August 2021.

  • Applicants must be under the age of 35 on 31 December 2021
  • Applicants must be resident in Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the Commonwealth for three years prior to the date of submission for the award, or a British National
  • Applicants must not have had any other novel published
  • Submissions must be in English and must not be a translation
  • Submissions must be of a romantic or traditional nature (i.e. not experimental)
  • Submissions must have been first published in 2021, or be unpublished
  • If unpublished, the work must not have been previously submitted for the Betty Trask Prize & Awards.

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

2021

  • Prize Winner: Thomas McMullan for The Last Good Man (Bloomsbury)
  • Award Winners
    • Maame Blue for Bad Love (Jacaranda Books)
    • Eley Williams for The Liar’s Dictionary (William Heinemann, Cornerstone)
    • Nneoma Ike-Njoku for The Water House 
    • Graeme Armstrong for The Young Team (Pan Macmillan, Picador)

2020

  • Prize Winner: Kathryn Hind for Hitch – £10,000 (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Award Winners 
    • Stacey Halls for The Familiars (Zaffre, Bonnier Books) £5,400
    • Isabella Hammad for The Parisian (Jonathan Cape, Vintage) £5,400
    • Okeychukwu Nzelu for The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney (Dialogue Books) £5,400

2019

  • Prize Winner: James Clarke for The Litten Path (Salt) £10,000
  • Award Winners
    • Samuel Fisher for The Chameleon (Salt) £2,700
    • Imogen Hermes Gowar for The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock (Harvill Secker) £2,700
    • Ruqaya Izzidien for The Watermelon Boys (Hoopoe Fiction / AUC Press) £2,700
    • Daisy Lafarge for Paul (Unpublished) £2,700
    • Rebecca Ley for Sweet Fruit, Sour Land (Sandstone Press) £2,700
    • Sophie Mackintosh for The Water Cure (Hamish Hamilton) £2,700

2018

  • Prize Winner: Omar Robert Hamilton for The City Always Wins (Faber) £10,000
  • Award Winners
    • Sarah Day for Mussolini’s Island (Tinder Press) £3,250
    • Clare Fisher for All the Good Things (Viking) £3,250
    • Eli Goldstone for Strange Heart Beating (Granta Books) £3,250
    • Lloyd Markham for Bad Ideas\Chemicals (Parthian) £3,250
    • Masande Ntshanga for The Reactive (Jacaranda) £3,250

2017

  • Prize winner: Daniel Shand for Fallow (Sandstone Press) £10,000
  • Award winners
    • Rowan Hisayo Buchanan for Harmless Like You (Hodder & Stoughton) £3,000
    • Elnathan John for Born on a Tuesday (Cassava Republic) £3,000
    • Kathleen Jowittt for Speak Its Name (self-published) £3,000
    • Rob McCarthy for The Hollow Men (Hodder & Stoughton) £3,000
    • Barney Norris for Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain (Transworld) £3,000

2016

  • Prize winner: Alex Christofi for Glass (Serpents Tail) £10,000
  • Award winners 
    • Irenosen Okojie for Butterfly Fish (Jacaranda Books Art Music) £5,000
    • Natasha Pulley for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Bloomsbury Circus) £5,000
    • Lucy Wood for Weathering (Bloomsbury) £5,000

2015 

  • Prize winner: Ben Fergusson for The Spring of Kasper Meier (Little, Brown) £10,000
  • Award winners
    • Emma Healey for Elizabeth is Missing (Viking) £5,000
    • Zoe Pilger for Eat My Heart Out (Serpent’s Tail) £5,000
    • Simon Wroe for Chop Chop (Viking) £5,000

2014 

  • Prize winner: Nathan Filer for The Shock of the Fall (HarperCollins) £10,000
  • Award winners 
    • NoViolet Bulawayo for We Need New Names (Chatto) £3,750
    • Sam Byers for Idiopathy (Fourth Estate) £3,750
    • Mave Fellowes for Chaplin and Company (Jonathan Cape) £3,750 
    • Matt Greene for Ostrich (Weidenfeld) £3,750

2013 

  • Prize winner: Grace McCleen for The Land of Decoration (Chatto and Windus) £8,000
  • Award winners
    • Chibundu Onuzo for The Spider King’s Daughter (Faber) £7,000
    • Francesca Segal for The Innocents (Chatto and Windus) £2,500
    • Will Wiles for Care of Wooden Floors (Fourth Estate) £2,500

2012 

  • Prize winner: David Whitehouse for Bed (Canongate) £8,000
  • Award winners 
    • Kalinda Ashton for The Danger Game (Tindal Street Press) £3,000
    • Elizabeth Day for Scissors, Paper, Stone (Bloomsbury) £3,000 
    • Annabel Pitcher for My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece (Orion/Indigo) £3,000
    • Emma Jane Unsworth for Hungry, the Stars and Everything (The Hidden Gem Press) £3,000

2011 

  • Prize winner: Anjali Joseph for Saraswati Park (Fourth Estate) £10,000 
  • Award winners 
    • Laura Barton for Twenty-One Locks (Quercus) £6,000
    • Simon Lelic Rupture (Picador) £2,500
    • Robert Williams for Luke and Jon (Faber) £2,500

2010 

  • Prize winner: Nadifa Mohamed for Black Mamba Boy (HarperCollins) £10,000
  • Award winners
    • Evie Wyld for After the Fire, a Still Small Voice (Jonathan Cape) £7,000
    • Jenn Ashworth for A Kind of Intimacy (Arcadia) £1,500
    • Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani for I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Weidenfeld) £1,500

2009 

  • Prize winner: Samantha Harvey for The Wilderness (Jonathan Cape) £12,000
  • Award Winner: Eleanor Catton for The Rehearsal (Granta) £8,000

2008

  • David Szalay London and the South-East (Jonathan Cape) £10,000 
  • Ross Raisin God’s Own Country (Viking) £6,000 
  • Thomas Leveritt The Exchange Rate Between Love and Money (Harvill Secker) £2,000 
  • Anna Ralph The Floating Island (Arrow Books) £2,000

2007 

  • Will Davis for My Side of the Story (Bloomsbury) £10,000 
  • Adam Foulds for The Truth About These Strange Times (Weidenfeld) £2,500 
  • Cynan Jones for The Long Dry (Parthian) £2,500 
  • Julie Maxwell for You Can Live Forever (Jonathan Cape) £2,500 
  • Karen Mcleod for In Search of the Missing Eyelash (Jonathan Cape) £2,500

2006

  • Nick Laird for Utterly Monkey (Fourth Estate/Harper Perennial) £10,000 
  • Peter Hobbs for The Short Day Dying (Faber & Faber) £5,000 
  • Nicola Monaghan for The Killing Jar (Chatto & Windus) £5,000

2005

  • Susan Fletcher for Eve Green (Fourth Estate) £16,000 
  • Helen Walsh for Brass (Canongate) £2,000
  • Diana Evans for 26a (Chatto & Windus) £2,000

2004

  • Louise Dean for Becoming Strangers (Scribner) £8,000 
  • Hannah MacDonald for The Sun Road (Little, Brown) £6,000 
  • Anthony Cartwright for The Afterglow (Tindal Street Press) £3,000 
  • Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi for The Last Song of Dusk (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) £3,000

2003

  • Jon McGregor for If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Bloomsbury) £10,000 
  • Sarah Hall for Haweswater (Faber and Faber) £6,000 
  • Stephanie Merritt for Gaveston (Faber and Faber) £4,000
  • Elizabeth Garner for Nightdancing (Headline) £2,000 
  • Zoe Strachan for Negative Space (Picador) £2,000
  • Adam Thirlwell for Politics (Jonathan Cape) £1,000

2002

  • Hari Kunzru for The Impressionist (Hamish Hamilton) £8,000 
  • Rachel Seiffert for The Dark Room (William Heinemann) £5,000 
  • Shamim Sarif for The World Unseen (The Women’s Press) £4,000 
  • Helen Cross for My Summer of Love (Bloomsbury) £2,000 
  • Chloe Hooper for A Child’s Book of True Crime (Jonathan Cape) £2,000 
  • Susanna Jones for The Earthquake Bird (Picador) £2,000 
  • Gwendoline Riley for Cold Water (Jonathan Cape) £2,000

2001

  • Zadie Smith for White Teeth (Hamish Hamilton) £6,000 
  • Justin Hill for The Drink and Dream Teahouse (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) £5,000 
  • Maggie O’Farrell for After You’d Gone (Headline Review) £5,000 
  • Vivien Kelly for Take One Young Man (Arrow) £4,000 
  • Mohsin Hamid for Moth Smoke (Granta) £2,500 
  • Patrick Neate for Musungu Jim and the Great Chief Tuloko (Penguin) £2,500

2000

  • Jonathan Tulloch for The Season Ticket (Jonathan Cape) £10,000 
  • Julia Leigh for The Hunter (Faber and Faber) £7,000 
  • Susan Elderkin for Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains (Fourth Estate) £4,000 
  • Galaxy CrazeBy for The Shore (Jonathan Cape) £2,000 
  • Nicholas Griffin for The Requiem Shark (Little, Brown) £2,000

1999

  • Elliot Perlman for Three Dollars (Faber and Faber) £7,000 
  • Catherine Chidgey for In a Fishbone Church (Picador Macmillan) £6,000 
  • Giles Foden for The Last King of Scotland (Faber and Faber) £4,000 
  • Dennis Bock for Olympia (Bloomsbury) £3,000 
  • Rajeev Balasubramanyam for In Beautiful Disguises (unpublished MS, to be published by Bloomsbury) £2,500 
  • Sarah Waters for Tipping the Velvet (Virago) £1,000

1998

  • Kiran Desai for Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (Faber and Faber) £10,000 
  • Nick Earls for Zigzag Street (Macmillan) £8,000 
  • Phil Whitaker for Eclipse of the Sun (Phoenix House) £5,000 
  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz for The Cure for Death by Lighting (Virago) £1,000 
  • Tobias Hill for Underground (unpublished) £1,000

1997

  • Alex Garland for The Beach (Viking) £12,000 
  • Josie Barnard for Poker Face (Virago) £5,000 
  • Ardashir Vakil for Beach Boy (Hamish Hamilton) £5,000
  • Diran Adebayo for Some Kind of Black (Virago) £1,500
  • Sanjida O’Connell for Theory of Mind (Black Swan) £1,500

1996

  • John Lanchester for The Debt to Pleasure (Macmillan) £8,000 
  • Meera Syal for Anita and Me (Flamingo) £7,000 
  • Rhidian Brook for The Testimony of Taliesin Jones (Flamingo) £5,000 
  • Louis Caron Buss for The Luxury of Exile (Jonathan Cape) £5,000

1995

  • Robert Newman for Dependence Day (Century) £10,000 
  • Mark Behr for The Smell of Apples (Little, Brown) £8,000 
  • Martina Evans for Midnight Feast (unpublished, MS accepted by Heinemann) £3,000 
  • Rohit Manchanda for A Speck of Coaldust (unpublished) £1,000 
  • Juliet Thomas for Hallelujah Jordan (unpublished) £1,000 
  • Philippa Walshe for The Latecomer (unpublished) £1,000 
  • Madeleine Wickham for The Tennis Party (Black Swan) £1,000

1994

  • Colin Bateman for Divorcing Jack (proof, HarperCollins) £12,000 
  • Nadeem Aslam for Season of the Rainbirds (Andre Deutsch) £10,000 
  • Guy Burt for After the Hole (Transworld) £1,000 
  • Frances Liardet for The Game (Macmillan) £1,000 
  • Jonathan Rix for Some Hope (Andre Deutsch) £1,000

1993

  • Mark Blackaby for You’ll Never be Here Again (Gollancz) £10,000 
  • Andrew Cowan for Pig (Michael Joseph) £7,000 
  • Simon Corrigan for Tommy Was Here (Andre Deutsch) £5,000 
  • Joanna Briscoe for Mothers and Other Lovers (Phoenix) £2,000 
  • Olivia Fane for Landing on Clouds (Mandarin) £2,000

1992

  • Liane Jones for The Dream Stone (Heinemann) £10,000 
  • Peter M Rosenburg for Kissing Through a Pane of Glass (Simon & Schuster) £5,000 
  • Tibor Fischer for Under the Frog (Polygon) £3,000 
  • Eugene Mullan for The Last of His Line (unpublished) £3,000 
  • Edward St Aubyn for Never Mind (Heinemann) £3,000

1991

  • Amit Chaudhuri for A Strange and Sublime Address (Heinemann) £10,000 
  • Mark Swallow for Teaching Little Fang (Macmillan) £7,000 
  • Suzannah Dunn for Quite Contrary (Sinclair Stevenson) £2,000 
  • Lesley Glaister for Honour Thy Father (Secker & Warburg) £2,000 
  • Nino Ricci for Lives of the Saints (W H Allen) £2,000 
  • Simon Mason for The Great English Nude (Constable) £2,000

1990

  • Robert McLiam for Wilson Ripley Bogle (Andre Deutsch) £16,000 
  • Elizabeth Chadwick for The Wild Hunt (Michael Joseph) £3,000 
  • Rosemary Cohen for No Strange Land (unpublished) £3,000 
  • Nicholas Shakespeare for The Vision of Elena Silves (Collins Harvill) £3,000

1989

  • Nigel Watts for The Life Game (Hodder & Stoughton) £10,000 
  • William Riviere for Watercolour Sky (Hodder & Stoughton) £5,000 
  • Paul Houghton for Harry’s Last Wedding (unpublished) £2,000 
  • Alasdair McKee for Uncle Henry’s Last Stand (Chatto & Windus) £2,000

1988

  • Alex Martin for The General Interruptor MS (Viking/Penguin) £6,500 
  • Candia McWilliam for A Case of Knives (Bloomsbury) £6,500 
  • Georgina Andrewes for Behind the Waterfall (Pandora Press) £2,000 
  • James Friel for Left of North (Macmillan) £2,000 
  • Glenn Patterson for Burning Your Own (Chatto & Windus) £2,000
  • Susan Webster for Small Tales of a Town (Simon & Schuster) £2,000

1987

  • James Maw for Hard Luck (Quartet Books) £8,000 
  • Peter Benson for The Levels (proof, Constable) £4,500 
  • Helen Flint for Return Journey (proof, Heinemann) £4,500 
  • Catherine Arnold for Lost Time (Hodder & Stoughton) £1,000 
  • H S Bhabra for Gestures (Michael Joseph) £1,000 
  • Lucy Pinney for The Pink Stallion (proof, Hodder & Stoughton) £1,000

1986 

  • Tim Parks for Tongues of Flames (Heinemann) £9,000 
  • Patricia Ferguson for Family, Myths and Legends (Deutsch) £4,500 
  • Philippa Blake for Mzungu’s Wife (MS, Bodley Head) £1,000 
  • Matthew Kneale for Whore Banquets accepted (MS, Gollancz) £1,000 
  • J F McLaughlin for The Road to Dilmun (unpublished) £1,000
  • Kate Saunders for The Prodigal Father (proof, Jonathan Cape) £1,000

1985

  • Susan Kay for Legacy (accepted MS Bodley Head) £12,500 
  • Gary Armitage for A Season of Peace (proof, Secker & Warburg) £1,000 
  • Elizabeth Ironside for A Very Private Enterprise (Hodder & Stoughton) £1,000
  • Alice Mitchell for Instead of Eden (MS, W H Allen) £1,000 
  • Caroline Stickland for The Standing Hills (MS, Gollancz) £1,000 
  • George Schweiz for The Earth Abides For Ever (unpublished) £1,000

1984

  • Ronald Frame for Winter Journey (accepted MS Bodley Head) £6,750 
  • Clare Nonhebel for Cold Showers (MS, Century Hutchinson) £6,750 
  • James Buchan for A Parish of Rich Women (accepted MS Hamish Hamilton) £1,000 
  • Helen Harris for Playing Fields in Winter (MS, Century Hutchinson) £1,000
  • Gareth Jones for The Disinherited (Gollancz) £1,000 
  • Simon Rees for The Devil’s Looking Glass (MS, Methuen) £1,000

Charity number 289519