UK Award for Younger Writers, and a Prize for Authors Over 60

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The Sunday Times/PFD prize for writers aged 18 to 35 opens a new resource, while the Paul Torday Prize will honor a debut novelist decades older.

Image – iStockphoto: Fizkes

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

‘An Increasing Range of Expertise’
Those who feel they can’t find enough author-instructive material on the Internet may be interested to know that the “tips ‘n’ tricks” universe for writers now is even larger than it was, thanks to a new “digital hub” from the University of Warwick’s writing program and the  The Sunday Times / Peter Frasers + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award.

The “hub” is to appear today (August 8) and will appear as part of the prize’s site and its content is free and described this way in messaging to the press:

  • Monthly how-to guides. “These accessible, essays will provide writers with a DIY online writing course. The series is written by a different writer each year.” This year, the writer is AL Kennedy, an associate professor at Warwick.
  • Monthly ‘What I Wish I Had Known When I Started Writing’ articles. “Well-known writers will think back to when they began and will encourage, stimulate, and surprise with their reminiscences. The series starts with Paul Beatty, Anne Enright, Ian Rankin and Nick Hornby.” Beatty, the first American to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction (2016) for The Sellout, is to be represented with a piece appearing today.
  • Regular “Top Tips” posts “by experts from the growing family of partners that make up the prize, with informed, behind-the-scenes contributions from staffers at Peters Fraser + Dunlop [which is a literary agency], staffers and students at Warwick, and journalists from The Sunday Times, well as guest posts from experts from the literary world, such as the British Council, publishers and writers.”

Paul Beatty. Image :Man Booker Prize for Fiction

As Publishing Perspectives has reported, 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 a ceremony at the London Library on December 6. Kamila Shamsie, Susan Hill, and Andrew Holgate are judging.

In a prepared statement about the new informational “hub” to come, Holgate is quoted, saying, “Bringing together well-known writers, experts in the field, and a network of partners, together with an exceptional list of alumni—from Max Porter to Sarah Howe, from Zadie Smith to Robert Macfarlane, from Sarah Waters to Naomi Alderman—the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser and Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, in association with Warwick University, is a unique support and champion for emerging and aspiring writers, providing those starting out with an increasing range of expertise, encouragement, and support.”

The award honors work in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, by British and Irish authors aged between 18 and 35.


The Paul Torday for Debut Authors Over 60

Paul Torday. Image: PaulTorday.com

While the Sunday Times/PFD award is for younger writers up to age 35, the newly activated Paul Torday Memorial Prize is specifically devised to honor debut novelists older than 60.

This prize is open to entries written in English (not translated from other languages) and eligible books must be first published in the UK and Ireland between September 1, 2016, and August 31 of this  year.

Paul Torday, 1946-2013, was the author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2006) and other books, starting his publishing career at age 59 or 60. Salmon Fishing, a satire about political spin, was made into a serial for BBC Radio 4 and was made into a film by director Lasse Hallström in 2011, with Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt.

Torday would go on to be a prolific writer, with a total eight titles to his name published in the decade between 2006 and 2016. He wasn’t afraid of serious issues, either. Topics in his work include racism, alcoholism, and schizophrenia.

Torday’s son, Piers, is a children’s author and has worked with the family to create the new prize, which is being administered by the Society of Authors.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson is funding the prize’s £1,000 (US$1,293) purse, which is to come with a set of Torday’s collected works. Runners-up will receive one specially selected Paul Torday novel with a commemorative book plate.

The deadline for submission is November 15.

Several more details of eligibility, per the Society of Authors’ administration:

  • The novel must be the author’s first-published full-length fiction work, but an author can have had works published of other lengths or other genres in the past.
  • The author(s) must be aged 60 or older 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, she or he will be asked to provide proof of age.
  • There are no residence or nationality restrictions.

Submissions are to be made only print publishers, and more information is here about his new prize, the results of which will be made known at the collective authors awards ceremony the society holds each year, in 2019.


More from Publshing Perspectives on book and publishing awards programs is here.

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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