London: The TLS Ackerley Prize Names Its 2024 Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

Newly renamed the TLS Ackerley Prize with a ‘Times Literary Supplement’ partnership, this contest focuses on memoir and autobiography.

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

A Winner Is To Be Named July 25
Offering a genuine shortlist of just three titles, the Ackerley Prize—now called the TLS Ackerley Prize—is focused, as you may recall, on memoir and autobiography.

JR Ackerley

The Ackerley Prize was established in 1982 in memory of JAR Ackerley (1896–1967), an author and longtime literary editor of The Listener magazine.

The honor is given annually to a literary autobiography by British author for a work published in the United Kingdom in the previous year.

The name change—to the TLS Ackerley Prize—reflects a new feature: The award now is to be given in partnership with the Times Literary Supplement and has been renamed the TLS Ackerley Prize, something announced in an event on Wednesday evening (June 25).

Until 2023, the program was known as the PEN Ackerley Prize. Presumably, the Times Literary Supplement connection provides viability lost after the English PEN association.

The newly named 2024 shortlist features:

The jury for this year’s competition is made up of Peter Parker (chair); Claire Harman; and Michael Caines.

The jurors called in 25 autobiographies and memoirs published in 2023, the program reports, sorting them first to a longlist of six and now to a shortlist of three.

A winner is to be announced on July 25 at an event open to ticket holders. (Tickets, at £5 and £3, are available here.)

The writer named the winner of this year’s competition gets a purse of £4,000 (US$5,054).

Past winners of this contest include Nancy Campbell, Frances Stonor Saunders, Claire Wilcox, Alison Light, Alan Bennett, Michael Frayn, John Osborne, Jenni Diski, Germaine Greer, Blake Morrison, and Sonali Deraniyagala.


​More from Publishing Perspectives on international book and publishing prizes is here, more on autobiography and memoir 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.com, 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.