Paul Torday Memorial Prize

For a first novel by an author over 60

Paul Torday published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen aged 60. The family have decided to set up this new prize in Torday’s honour, celebrating first novels by authors aged 60 or over.

The winner will receive £1,000, with a set of Paul Torday’s collected works. Runners-up will receive one specially selected Paul Torday novel with a commemorative book plate.

2021 Paul Torday Prize winner

2021 Shortlist

  • Runner up: Karen Raney for All the Water in the World (John Murray, Two Roads)
  • Judith Amanthis for Dirt Clean (Victorina Press)
  • Elfan Jones for Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Unbound)
  • Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street (Quercus)


The Paul Torday Memorial Prize is currently closed for entries. It will reopen for the 2022 round in August 2021.

  • Submissions must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021.
  • Submissions must be in English and must not be a translation.
  • Submissions must be the author’s first published full length fiction work, but authors may have had works published of other lengths or genres in the past.
  • Applicants must be aged 60 or over at the date of first print publication of the novel and must be living at the date of submission.
  • The prize does not accept books that are only available in e-format or that are self-published or where the author has contributed or paid for the costs of publishing.
  • Submissions must be made by the print publisher.

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

2021

  • Kathy O’Shaughnessy for In Love with George Eliot (Scribe UK)
  • Runner-up: Karen Raney for All the Water in the World (John Murray, Two Roads)

2020

  • Donald S. Murray for As the Women Lay Dreaming (Saraband) 
  • Runner-up: Gaby Koppel for Reparation (Honno Press)

2019

  • Anne Youngson for Meet Me at the Museum (Doubleday) 
  • Runner-up: Norma MacMaster for Silence Under a Stone (Doubleday Ireland)