Elif Shafak, Lucy Hughes-Hallett and Andrew Holgate to judge The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2017

The award-winning novelist and political commentator Elif Shafak and the acclaimed cultural historian and biographer Lucy Hughes-Hallett will join Andrew Holgate on the judging panel of The Sunday Times / Peter Frasers + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award. Now run in association with the University of Warwick, the prize rewards the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged between 18 and 35.

Having rewarded two exceptional writers of their generation in the two years since its return in 2015 – the debut poet Sarah Howe for her first collection, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus), and Max Porter for his genre-bending debut Grief Is the Thing With Feathers (Faber & Faber) – the prize has established itself as a widely regarded source for identifying the best young writing talent.

Elif Shafak is one of today’s most influential international writers and intellectuals who straddles East and West. She is the acclaimed author of ten novels including The Architect's Apprentice, The Bastard of Istanbul and most recently Three Daughters of Eve (Penguin, February 2017) and is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her work has been translated into over forty languages and she has been awarded the prestigious Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She is also a cultural commentator, a political scientist and an inspirational public speaker.

“It is an immense pleasure and privilege to join the judging panel of The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award. This is a very special and truly uplifting award for writers at a relatively early stage of their long literary journeys. What a joy will it be to discover, accompany and celebrate the most amazing young talents who will shape the future of world literature.”
— Elif Shafak

Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s first novel, Peculiar Ground, will be published on May 18th. Her previous book, The Pike (2013), a biography of Gabriele D'Annunzio, won all three of this country’s most prestigious non-fiction prizes: the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize, and the Costa Biography of the Year Award.  She is a widely respected critic and reviewer, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

“I’m looking forward to reading the work of the next generation of great British and Irish writers, and it’s exciting to be able to give them a boost early in their careers.”
— Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Andrew Holgate has been the Literary Editor of The Sunday Times for eight years, and before that was the Deputy Literary Editor for nine. He has worked in bookselling, publishing and literary journalism, and has judged many other prizes, including the Samuel Johnson Award and the Somerset Maugham.

“I’m so delighted that two such powerful literary voices are able to join me this year, to bring their expertise and experience to bear on the judging process, and to continue the exponential growth of the prize since its rebirth via the kind sponsorship of Peters Fraser + Dunlop, and now associate sponsorship of the University of Warwick. Our two most recent award winners, Sarah Howe and Max Porter, continue a line of excellence that stretches back 26 years, taking their place alongside now preeminent writers such as Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters and Simon Armitage. All this convinces me further of the prize’s value in identifying and championing the best new talent, and I’m very, very excited by what 2017 will bring.”
— Andrew Holgate

From 2017, the award is running in association with the University of Warwick, who are offering a bespoke 10-week residency for the award’s winner, a day festival of events, and a year-round programme of on-campus and digital support for award alumni and the year’s shortlist. The university is home to the acclaimed Warwick Writing Programme, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Europe, which includes renowned authors including Will Eaves, Maureen Freely, Michael Hulse, A.L. Kennedy, Tim Leach, David Morley, Sarah Moss, Ian Sansom, Jonathan Skinner, and David Vann.

To be eligible for The Sunday Times Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award books must have been first published in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland, in the English language, between 2 May 2016 and 2 June 2017. This year, self-published authors in particular are being encouraged to apply.

Submissions close on Sunday 2 June, 2017. The shortlist of four books will be announced on 5 November, followed by the winner on 7 December.

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).

For further information and submission details, including full terms and conditions, please visit the new website of the award at: youngwriteraward.com.

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