The UK’s Society of Authors’ 2019 Awards Surpass £100,000 in Value

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The nine authors’ awards administered by the Society of Authors this year will break a new record in terms of combined prize money for honorees.

Image – iStockphoto: Svitlana Unuchko

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

Jurors for the Awards Announced
Today (April 23), the Society of Authors in London is announcing that for the first time, the suite of author awards programs it administers in publishing and literature will have a total purse worth more than £100,000 (US$129,594).

The program provides honors to more than 20 established and emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and in the past has included in its lists of winners Zadie Smith, Seamus Heaney, Helen Dunmore, Hari Kunzru, Carol Ann Duffy, and Mark Haddon.

Careers honored have included those of  Fay Weldon, William Golding, and Margaret Drabble.

Taken as a group, the collection of prizes administered by the trade organization provide the largest literary fund in the country.

The 2019 awards program is set for June 17 at Southwark Cathedral, an event sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Agency, the ALCS.

In the process of announcing the new record for its combined prize monies, the society is naming jurors for its many prize programs.

2019 Society of Authors Award Jurors

Betty Trask Prize and Awards

  • Judged by Ben Brooks, Elanor Dymott and Vaseem Khan
  • The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35. Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. The winner of last year’s Betty Trask Prize was Omar Robert Hamilton for The City Always Wins.

Eric Gregory Awards

  • Judged by Vahni Capildeo, Inua Ellams, John Greening, Katherine Pierpoint, Michael Symmons Roberts and Ahren Warner
  • The Eric Gregory Awards are presented for a collection of poems by a poet younger than 30. Past winners include Carol Ann Duffy, Tom Chivers, Helen Mort and Alan Hollinghurst.

McKitterick Prize

  • Judged by Susan Hill, Chris Tayler and Abir Mukherjee
  • The McKitterick Prize is awarded to a first novel by a writer older than 40. Past winners include Helen Dunmore, Mark Haddon and Petinah Gappah. Last year’s winner was Anietie Isong for Radio Sunrise.

Paul Torday Memorial Prize

  • Judged by Mark Lawson, Kate Mosse and Anita Sethi
  • The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize will be awarded to a first novel by a writer older than 60.

The ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award

  • Judged by Stuart Evers and Irenosen Okojie
  • Sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, the ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award is awarded for a short story by a writer who has had at least one short story accepted for publication. Previous winners include Benjamin Myers, Lucy Wood, Grace Ingoldby and Claire Harman.

Somerset Maugham Awards

  • Judged by Jen Campbell, Barney Norris and Ian Thomson
  • The Somerset Maugham Awards are for published works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by writers under 35, to enable them to enrich their work by gaining experience of foreign countries. Past winners include Hari Kunzru, Helen Oyeyemi, Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith and Jonathan Freedland.

Cholmondeley Awards

  • Judged by Paul Farley, Drew Milne, Grace Nichols and Pascale Petit
  • The Cholmondeley Awards are awarded for a body of work by a poet. Previous winners have included Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard and Andrew Motion.

Travelling Scholarships

  • Judged by Tahmima Anam, Adam O’Riordan, Sameer Rahim, Jane Ridley and Gary Younge
  • The Travelling Scholarships were established in 1944 to enable British creative writers to keep in contact with writing colleagues abroad. Previous recipients have included C. Day-Lewis, Dylan Thomas, Laurie Lee, Margaret Drabble and Helen Simpson.

Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography

Judged by Richard Davenport-Hines, Roy Foster (chair), Antonia Fraser, Flora Fraser and Rana Mitter.

An announcement of shortlists for this year’s round of awards program is anticipated to be made on May 15.


More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book awards is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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