The UK’s Royal Society of Literature Names an ‘Encore’ Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

The ‘Encore’ contest for second novels has been administered by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Literature since 2016.

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

£10,000 to the Winner
In the United Kingdom, the Royal Society of Literature—often referencing itself as the oblique “RSL”—has a specific award for second novels. The premise of this particular contest, in a country that has so very many book contests, is that second releases are singularly difficult.

The Encore Award, as it’s called, is an annual award)  of £10,000 (US$12,742) for a second novel and each of the four other books on the shortlist are awarded £500. 

Jurors in this round of the contest are Fergal Keane, Malika Booker and Maura Dooley. A winner is expected to be named on June 19.

The Royal Society of Literature, for our international professional publishing readership, is not the same “royal society” as the Royal Society, which fields 29 distinct awards and medals in various areas and disciplines.

The Royal Society of Literature ‘Encore’ Shortlist 2024
  • A Spell of Good Things – Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (Canongate)
  • The Glutton – A. K. Blakemore (Granta)
  • Enter Ghost – Isabella Hammad (Penguin Random House / Vintage)
  • Tell Me What I Am – Úna Mannion (Faber & Faber)
  • Ordinary Human Failings – Megan Nolan (Penguin Random House)
Previous Winners of the ‘Encore’ Contest

An asterisk indicates that the prize was split between multiple authors in the year referenced.

  • 2023 Daisy Hildyard Emergency
  • 2022 Francis Spufford Light Perpetual
  • 2021 Caoilinn Hughes The Wild Laughter
  • 2020 Patrick McGuinness Throw Me to the Wolves
  • 2019 Sally Rooney Normal People
  • 2018* Andrew Michael Hurley Devil’s Day
  • Lisa McInerney The Blood Miracles
  • 2017 Ian McGuire The North Water
  • 2015 Sunjeev Sahota The Year of the Runaways
  • 2014 Neel Mukherjee The Lives of Others
  • 2013 Evie Wyld All the Birds, Singing
  • 2012 Ned Beauman The Teleportation Accident
  • 2011 Joe Dunthorne Wild Abandon
  • 2010 Adam Foulds The Quickening Maze
  • 2009 Julia Leigh Disquiet
  • 2007 M.J. Hyland Carry Me Down
  • 2005 Nadeem Aslam Maps for Lost Lovers
  • 2004 Michelle de Kretser The Hamilton Case
  • 2003 Jeremy Gavron The Book of Israel
  • 2002 Ali Smith Hotel World
  • 2001 Anne Enright What Are You Like?
  • 2000* John Burnside The Mercy Boys
  • Claire Messud The Last Life
  • Matt Thorne Eight Minutes Idle
  • Phil Whitaker Triangulation
  • 1999 Christina Koning Undiscovered Country
  • 1998* Alan Warner These Demented Lands
  • Timothy O’Grady I Could Read the Sky
  • 1997 David Flusfeder Like Plastic
  • 1996 A.L. Kennedy So I Am Glad
  • 1995 Dermot Healy A Goat’s Song
  • 1994 Amit Chaudhuri Afternoon Raag
  • 1993 Colm Tóibín The Heather Blazing
  • 1992 Iain Sinclair Downriver
  • 1991 Carey Harrison Richard’s Feet
  • 1990* Paul Watkins Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn
  • Peter Benson A Lesser Dependency
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.