Kamila Shamsie Joins Susan Hill in Judging the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award

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Fresh from her win of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, Kamila Shamsie is joining Susan Hill and Andrew Holgate in judging the Young Writer of the Year prize.

Image – iStockphoto: PSPhotograph

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Discovering a New Voice in Literature’
The The Sunday Times / Peter Frasers + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award today (June 25) is announcing that author Kamila Shamsie—who has just won the Women’s Prize for Fiction with Home Fire (Bloomsbury)—and the novelist and nonfiction writer Susan Hill will join Andrew Holgate on the jury for the prize, which is presented in association with the University of Warwick.

The prize honors fiction, nonfiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged 18 to 35.

Shamsie’s latest jury work has been in choosing the 1990s decade candidate for the “Golden Man Booker Prize.”

Raised in Karachi and now a Londoner, Shamsie is the author of seven novels. Home Fire not only won the Women’s Prize (formerly the Orange and the Baileys) but also was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award.

Kamila Shamsie. Image: Zain Mustafa

In 2013 she was on Granta’s list of Best of Young British Novelists.

In a prepared statement, Shamsie is quoted, saying, “There’s a particular excitement to discovering a new voice in literature–the freshness and the promise of greater works to come make for a thrilling combination.

“I’m very much looking forward to having many such moments of excitement when reading through the prize submissions. It’s a privilege to play a role in alerting many more people to the newest writer in the glittering firmament of those who have won this award.”

Susan Hill

Hill, of course, was made a CBE in 2012 for her services to literature. She published her first novel in 1961. Her books have won the Whitbread (now Costa); the James Tait Black; and the Somerset Maugham Prizes. She also been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The play adapted from her best-selling ghost story The Woman in Black has been running in London’s West End for 30 years, and Hill has been a judge for most British book prizes, so the role of a juror is familiar to her.

She’s quoted saying, “When I started out in 1958 there were no such prizes but what I did receive was massive encouragement and support from other writers and this prize gives that too, and more.

“Young writers need to feel valued and given a kickstart by just such a prize as this.

“I’m honoured to be a judge of this as it is probably more important than most.”

Andrew Holgate

Publishing Perspectives readers are familiar with Andrew Holgate’s leadership in award’s annual selections. He has been literary editor for The Sunday Times for nine years, and before that was the deputy literary editor for the same number of years.

Holgate has worked in bookselling, publishing and literary journalism, and has judged many other prizes, including the Samuel Johnson Award and the Somerset Maugham.

The shortlist of the 2018 The Sunday Times / Peter Frasers + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award will be announced on November 4. The winner is to be named at ceremony at the London Library on December 6.

Sponsorship for the prize comes from the literary agency Peters Fraser +  Dunlop, and again this year the program is being run in association with the University of Warwick’s creative writing program. It’s the University of Warwick’s Peter Marshall who earlier this month won the Wolfson History Prize, as well.

The university offers a personalized 10-week residency for the award’s winner, and a year-long program of digital support.

The British Council is the international partner of the prize, promoting the shortlisted authors in international markets.

Past winners of The Sunday Times / Peter Frasers + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award include:

  • Ross Raisin, God’s Own Country (2009)
  • Adam Foulds, The Truth About These Strange Times (2008)
  •  Naomi Alderman, Disobedience (2007)
  •  Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination (2004)
  • William Fiennes, The Snow Geese (2003)
  • Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2001)
  • Sarah Waters, Affinity (2000)
  • Paul Farley, The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You (1999)
  • Patrick French, Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division (1998)
  • Francis Spufford, I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination (1997)
  • Katherine Pierpoint,Truffle Beds (1996)
  • Andrew Cowan, Pig (1995)
  • William Dalrymple, City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi (1994)
  • Simon Armitage, Kid (1993)
  • Caryl Phillips, Cambridge (1992)
  • Helen Simpson, Four Bare Legs in a Bed and Other Stories(1991)
About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, at London's The Bookseller. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.

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