Ever since working on the Women’s Prize for Fiction, I’ve always been fascinated by the work that goes on behind the scenes of literary prize – particularly when it comes to the judging of the books. And as an avid and ardent reader, I’ve always loved the idea of judging a book prize. And so it was with great delight that – despite being on the other side of the world – I was asked to shadow judge the 2018 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.
Sponsored by literary agency Peters Fraser & Dunlop (who I interned for many moons ago) and in association with Warwick University, the prize is awarded annually for a full-length published or self-published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by an author aged 18-35. The winner will receive a prize of £5000 a well as a bespoke ten-week residency at the University of Warwick’s acclaimed Warwick Writing Programme – and each of the runners up with receive £500.
Last year’s winner was Sally Rooney for Conversations with Friends (which I read and adored a couple of months ago) and this year’s winner will join an impressive set of alumni that includes everyone from Zadie Smith to Sarah Waters. Joining me on the shadow judging panel is Amanda Chatterton from Bookish Chat, Paul Cheney from Half Man Half Book, Susan Osborne from A Life in Books and Lizzi Risch from These Little Words.
The shortlist will be announced on Sunday, November 4th, and the winner’s ceremony takes place on Thursday, December 6th.
About The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award
The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, in association with Warwick University, is awarded for a full-length published or self-published (in book or ebook formats) work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by an author aged 18 – 35 years. The winner receives £5,000, and there are three prizes of £500 each for runners-up. The winning book will be a work of outstanding literary merit.
The prize is administered by the Society of Authors. To apply and for more information about the prize please visit the Society of Authors website.