Submissions are now open for The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2016 with organisers issuing a broad call for entries from young writers across Britain and Ireland.
Following a seven year break, the prestigious award returned with a bang last year, awarding debut poet Sarah Howe the top prize for her phenomenal first collection, Loop of Jade, which then went on to win the country’s leading prize for poetry, the T.S. Eliot Prize.
The 2015 award boasted an exceptionally strong shortlist, which included three of the country’s biggest emerging young writers in addition to Howe: Ben Fergusson with his critically acclaimed historical fiction debut, The Spring of Kasper Meier; Sunjeev Sahota with his second novel, the Man Booker shortlisted The Year of the Runaways, a timely take on the British immigrant experience; and Sara Taylor’s Baileys-nominated collection of interlinked short stories, The Shore.
Generously sponsored by literary agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop, the prize is awarded annually to the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged between 18 and 35, earning attention and acclaim across the publishing industry and press. £5,000 is given to the overall winner and £500 to each of the three runners-up.
Submissions close on Sunday 1 May, 2016, with books eligible if published between Wednesday 1 July, 2015, and Sunday 1 May, 2016. For the second year, the prize is also open to self-published works and e-books.
Sarah Howe, winner of The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2015 for Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus), said:
“Being shortlisted for The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2015 felt like a gift from the sky, so going on to win was an extraordinary, joyful thing. For my book even to register alongside novels and stories on a multi-genre shortlist was a surprise to me. It made me see my writing in a new way: that my poems might speak to a wider audience than I had thought possible. Winning felt like the most wonderful vote of confidence not only for my own work, but for poetry at large.”
Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor at The Sunday Times and last year’s chair of judges, said:
“The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award is designed to throw the spotlight very firmly on the best of new British and Irish writing talent, whether published or self-published, and give them the sort of encouragement and exposure that has made such a difference to both shortlistees and winners of this award in the past. Following last year’s strong return, we’re looking forward to seeing the works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that will be submitted for consideration in 2016 and entering the rewarding judging process.”
The award has a reputation for spotting the literary stars of tomorrow, boasting an incredible line up of past winners, including: Ross Raisin, God’s Own Country (2009); Adam Foulds, The Truth About These Strange Times (2008); Naomi Alderman, Disobedience (2007), Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: a History of a Fascination (2004); William Fiennes, The Snow Geese (2003); Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2001); Sarah Waters, Affinity (2000); Paul Farley, The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You (1999); Patrick French, Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division (1998); Francis Spufford, I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination (1997); Katherine Pierpoint, Truffle Beds (1996); Andrew Cowan, Pig (1995); William Dalrymple, City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi (1994); Simon Armitage, Kid (1993); Caryl Phillips, Cambridge (1992); and Helen Simpson, Four Bare Legs in a Bed and Other Stories (1991).
The 2016 judging panel will be revealed in the coming weeks, with the shortlist of four books announced in November, followed by the winner in December.
For further information and submission details, including full terms and conditions, please visit http://www.societyofauthors.org/sunday-times-pfd.
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