At London Book Fair: Writers’ Prize Names Its Winners

In News by Porter Anderson

At London Book Fair, the top honor from the Writers’ Prize, formerly the Rathbones, goes to Liz Berry for ‘The Home Child.’

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

The former Rathbones Folio Prize announced last year that it was concluding seven years of sponsorship—two three-year agreements and an additional single year of sponsorship—since 2017. That has left this contest program in the United Kingdom looking for new sponsorship.

Nevertheless, now calling itself the “Writers’ Prize,” the program announced its three new winners late on Wednesday at London Book Fair.

The new name’s reference to writers is a reflection of the use the  program makes of more than 350 writers in a so-called academy, some members of which participate in mentoring aspiring young authors from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Our coverage of the program’s nine shortlisted titles is here, from January.

The program provides £2,000 (US$2,562) to the winner of each category, followed by £30,000 (US$38,436) for the overall winner from the three categories, whose work is called—as is common in competitions structured this way—the “book of the year.”

Writers’ Prize Winners 2024

The Home Child by Liz Berry (Penguin Random House UK/Chatto & Windus) — Liz Berry’s The Home Child was announced as the winner of the poetry category (£2,000) and for the overall “book of the year” honor (£30,000). Berry is the first poet since Raymond Antrobus in 2019 to win the overall award.

The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright (Penguin Random House UK/Jonathan Cape) — Booker winner Anne Enright, the first laureate for Irish fiction, won in the fiction category (£2,000) for The Wren, The Wren.

Thunderclap: A Memoir of Life and Art and Sudden Death by Laura Cumming (Penguin Random House UK/Chatto & Windus) — Cumming has been shortlisted for the prize for three consecutive books, and has won the nonfiction category (£2,000) with Thunderclap, connecting her life as an art critic with her father’s paintings.

More from us on the Rathbones Folio Prize is here, more on publishing and book awards in international markets is here, more on London Book Fair is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s market 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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.