British Council is delighted to be working with the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, in association with the University of Warwick. The £5,000 prize is awarded for a full-length published or self-published (in book or ebook formats) work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by an author of 35 years or under. There are three prizes of £500 each for runners-up. British Council in the UK and Ireland are delighted through our partnership with the prize to be supporting young writers in exploring international opportunities that will inspire them for the rest of their careers.
The award-winning novelist and political commentator Elif Shafak and the acclaimed cultural historian and biographer Lucy Hughes-Hallett join Andrew Holgate, literary editor of the Sunday Times, to judge the 2017 award. 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. Looking further back, previous winners include: 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 shortlisted authors were announced on 29 October 2017 and are below. The winner will be announced on 7 December.
Outlandish Knight – The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman by Minoo Dinshaw (Allen Lane)
The End of the Day by Claire North (Orbit)
The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico (Faber & Faber)
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber)
The Lauras by Sara Taylor (Windmill)
The shortlisted authors will appear at a public event at Waterstones Trafalgar Square, The Grand Building, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5EJ, on Tuesday, 28 November.