Paul Torday Memorial Prize

Joanne Harris (left) and Lemn Sissay (right) with 2022 Paul Torday Memorial Prize winner Jane Fraser at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
Joanne Harris (left) and Lemn Sissay (right) with 2022 Paul Torday Memorial Prize winner Jane Fraser at Southwark Cathedral (photograph © Adrian Pope)
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 £3,000, with a set of Paul Torday’s collected works. Runners-up will receive £1,000 and one specially selected Paul Torday novel with a commemorative book plate. The prize is indebted to W & N Fiction for generously providing these books by Paul Torday.

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

  • Deadline for entries: Monday 30 November 2022
  • The novel must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2021 and 31 August 2022.
  • The novel must be a full length work by a living author. 
  • The book must be in the English language and cannot be a translated work. 
  • The novel must be the author’s first published full length fiction work, but they can have had works published of other lengths or other genres in the past.
  • The author(s) must be aged 60 or over at the date of first print publication of the novel and living at the date of submission. In the event that the author is shortlisted, they will be asked to provide proof of age. 
  • There are no residence or nationality restrictions.
  • We cannot 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 [email protected]

2022 Paul Torday Prize winner

Winner: Jane Fraser for Advent (Honno: Welsh Women’s Press)

Runner-up: Michael Mallon for The Disciple (Zuleika)

2022 Shortlist

  • Anthony English for Death of a Coast Watcher (Monsoon Books)
  • Yvonne Bailey-Smith for The Day I Fell Off My Island (Myriad Editions)
  • John Fletcher for Wuhan (Head of Zeus)

With thanks, the judges of the 2023 Paul Torday Memorial Prize:

Rasheda Ashanti Malcom

Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm writes novels and women’s romantic fiction. Her first novel, Swimming With Fishes was published in 2017 and their second, Love Again, in 2020.She is now working on her third novel, with a fourth in the pipeline and a non-fiction book, her first non-fiction, which is aimed at first-time writers and women who want to write but can’t find the motivation or inspiration.

Kathy O’Shaughnessy

Kathy O’Shaughnessy was educated at Camden School for Girls. She went on to study English at Oxford, where she gained a first, and won the Thackeray Prize and Violet Vaughan Morgan Prize. She began an M-Phil on Byron, but gave it up to review books for Time Out, New Society, and The Spectator. She went on to work as Deputy Editor on The Literary Review, Arts & Books Editor of Vogue, Literary Editor of The European, Deputy Editor of The Telegraph Arts & Books. She has reviewed books for The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, The Observer, The Independent, The Telegraph, The TLS, New Statesman, and numerous other publications. Her short stories have been published in Faber’s First Fictions, and she edited and introduced the Croatian Drago Stambuk’s poems, Incompatible Animals. In Love with George Eliot is her first novel, published by Scribe. It was featured on Radio 4’s Open Book and it won the Society of Author’s Paul Torday Memorial Prize.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a bestselling crime and historical novelist, and the winner of the Diamond Dagger of the Crime Writers Association, the Gold Crown of the Historical Writers Association and many other awards. He has written nearly fifty books, listed here, three of which have been televised.


  • Winner: Jane Fraser for Advent (Honno: Welsh Women’s Press)
  • Runner-up: Michael Mallon for The Disciple (Zuleika)


  • 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)


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


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