McKitterick Prize

Joanne Harris (left) and Lemn Sissay (right) with 2022 McKitterick Prize winner David Annand at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
Joanne Harris (left) and Lemn Sissay (right) with 2022 McKitterick Prize winner David Annand at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
For a first novel by an author over 40

Tom McKitterick, the former editor of Political Quarterly and author of an unpublished novel, endowed the McKitterick Prize which was first awarded in 1990. It is also generously supported by Hawthornden Literary Retreat. It is given annually to an author over the age of 40 for a first novel, published or unpublished.

 The prize money is £4,000 for the winner and £2,000 for the runner-up, with each shortlisted author receiving £1,000 (up to four authors). 

The 2023 Prize is now closed for submissions. The shortlist will be announced in Spring 2023.

  • Deadline for entries: 31 October 2022
  • Applicants must be living and over the age of 40 on the 31 October 2022
  • Applicants must not have had any other novel published (excluding works for children)
  • Submissions must be a full length novel in the English language by one author
  • Submissions must be a work of ‘fiction or imagination or substantially of fiction or imagination’
  • Submissions must either have been published or self published in the UK between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022 (and not first published abroad) or unpublished
  • If unpublished, the work must not have been previously submitted for the McKitterick Prize.

For any queries relating to the prize please contact [email protected]

2022 McKitterick Prize winner

Winner: David Annand for Peterdown (Little, Brown Book Group)

Runner up: Lisa Taddeo for Animal (Bloomsbury)

The 2022 Shortlist

  • Claire Louise Bennett for Checkout 19 (Penguin Books)
  • Rachel Yoder for Nightbitch (Vintage Publishing)
  • Celeste Mohammed for Pleasant View (Jacaranda Books)
  • Oana Arstide for Under the Blue (Profile Books Ltd)

With thanks, the judges of the 2023 McKitterick Prize:

© Susan Baker-Smith 

Selma Dabbagh

Selma Debbagh is a British Palestinian writer of fiction. Born in Scotland, she has lived in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, France, Egypt and the West Bank. Her work includes the novel, ‘Out of It,’ (Bloomsbury, 2011) which was awarded the Premio Opera Prize in Spoleto 2019. Her radio play ‘The Brick,’ BBC Radio 4 was nominated for the Imison Award and she and has won various short story awards. Her non-fiction has appeared in the Guardian, GQ and other publications. She is the editor of ‘We Wrote In Symbols; Love and Lust by Arab Women Writers,’ (Saqi, 2021).

Rebecca Foster

© Chris Foster

Rebecca Foster is a freelance proofreader and literary critic. From Maryland, USA, she has now lived in England for over 15 years. Her first degree was in English and Religion; she also has an MA in Victorian Literature from the University of Leeds. An associate editor for Bookmarks magazine, she reviews books for multiple print and online publications on both sides of the pond, including BookBrowse, Foreword Reviews, Shelf Awareness, the Times Literary Supplement and Wasafiri, as well as on her blog, Bookish Beck. She volunteers in her local library and is an avid follower of literary prizes

Gonzalo C. Garcia

Gonzalo C. Garcia is a Chilean writer and Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at the Warwick Writing Programme. His first novel, We Are The End, launched in October 2017 with Galley Beggar Press and was nominated for the Edinburgh Festival First Novel Award 2017. He was also shortlisted for the 2021 Bristol Short Story Prize. He is currently working on his second book and teaching creative writing.

Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott is a Texas-born author and screenwriter living in London and Los Angeles.  Her debut novel Swan Song was published by Penguin Random House/ Hutchinson in 2018.  She holds a BFA (Directing) from Carnegie Mellon University, studied screenwriting at USC and has been honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a finalist for the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.  A graduate of UEA’s Creative Writing MA, she was the recipient of the Bridport Prize for a first novel.  Swan Song was named a Book of the Year by The Times, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, shortlisted for the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award and was the winner of the 2019 McKitterick Prize.

Anietie Isong

Anietie Isong’s novel, Radio Sunrise, won the 2018 McKitterick Prize. His collection of short stories, Someone Like Me, won the first Headlight Review Chapbook Prize for Prose Fiction in 2020. He received the Authors’ Foundation grant for his new novel, News at Noon, which will be published in 2022 by Jacaranda Books. Isong has been featured at the Birmingham Literature Festival, Marlborough Literature Festival, Henley Literary Festival, among other literary festivals. He holds a PhD in New Media and Writing.” 

Nick Rennison

© David Lawrence

Nick Rennison is a writer, editor and bookseller with a particular interest in modern history and crime fiction. He is the editor of six anthologies of short stories and has written books on a wide variety of subjects from Freud and psychoanalysis to the history of Bohemian London. His two novels, Carver’s Quest and Carver’s Truth, are both set in nineteenth-century London. He is a regular reviewer for the Sunday Times, for which he has written a monthly column on historical fiction for more than a decade. He has in the past been a judge for the Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown for historical fiction and for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award


  • David Annand for Peterdown (Little, Brown Book Group)
  • Runner up: Lisa Taddeo for Animal (Bloomsbury)


  • Elaine Feeney for As You Were (Harvill Secker, Vintage) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Deepa Anappara for Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Chatto & Windus, Vintage) £1,250


  • Claire Adam for Golden Child (Faber and Faber) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Taffy Brodesser-Akner for Fleishman is in Trouble  (Wildfire, Headline) £1,250


  • Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott for Swan Song (Hutchinson) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Carys Davies for West (Granta Books) £1,250


  • Anietie Isongfor Radio Sunrise (Jacaranda) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Frances Maynard for The Seven Rules of Elvira Carr (Mantle) £1,250


  • David Dyer for The Midnight Watch (Atlantic Books) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Austin Duffy for This Living & immortal Thing (Granta) £1,000


  • Petina Gappah for The Book of Memory (Faber) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Nick Coleman for Pillow Man (Cape) £1,000


  • Robert Allison for The Letter Bearer (Granta) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Paul Ewen for Francis Pug: How To Be A Public Author (Galley Beggar Press) £1,000


  • Gabriel Weston for Dirty Work (Cape) £4,000                                             
  • Runner-up: Gabriel Gbadamosi for Vauxhall (Telegram Books) £1,000


  • Alison Moore for The Lighthouse (Salt) £4,000                                           
  • Runner-up: Caroline Brothers for Hinterland (Bloomsbury)


  • Ginny Baily for Africa Junction (Harvill Secker / Vintage) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Cressida Connolly for My Former Heart (Fourth Estate)


  • Emma Henderson for Grace Williams Says It Loud (Sceptre) £4,000
  • Runner-up: Frances Kay for Micka (Picador)


  • Raphael Selbourne for Beauty (Tindal Street Press) £4,000


  • Chris Hannan for Missy (Chatto) £4,000


  • Jennie Walker for 24 for 3 (Bloomsbury) £4,000


  • Reina James for This Time of Dying (Portobello) £4,000


  • Peter Pouncey for Rules for Old Men Waiting (Chatto & Windus) £4,000


  • Lloyd Jones for Mr Vogel (Seren) £4,000


  • Mark Haddonfor The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Jonathan Cape) £4,000


  • Mary Lawson Crow for Lake (Chatto & Windus) £4,000


  • Manil Suri for The Death of Vishnu (Bloomsbury Publishing) £4,000


  • Giles Waterfieldfor The Long Afternoon (Headline Review) £4,000


  • Chris Dolan for Ascension Day (Headline Review) £4,000


  • Magnus Mills for The Restraint of Beasts (Flamingo) £4,000


  • Eli Gottlieb for The Boy Who Went Away (Jonathan Cape) £4,000


  • Patricia Duncker for Hallucinating Foucault (Serpent’s Tail) £4,000


  • Stephen Blanchard for Gagarin and I (Vintage) £5,000


  • Christopher for Bigsby Hester (Weidenfeld) £5,000


  • Helen Dunmore for Zennor in Darkness (Viking) £5,000


  • Andrew Barrow for The Tap Dancer (Duckworth) £5,000


  • Alberto Manguel for News from a Foreign Country Came (Harper Collins) £5,000


  • John Loveday for Halo (Harcourt Brace) £5,000


  • Simon Mawer for Chimera (Hamish Hamilton) £5,000

Charity number 327891