Submissions are now open for The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2017 – now in association with the University of Warwick – with organisers issuing a broad call for entries to the prize, which rewards the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged 18-35. Self-published authors in particular are being encouraged to apply.
Following a seven-year break, the prestigious award returned with a bang in 2015, awarding debut poet Sarah Howe the top prize for her first collection, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus), which went on to win the T.S. Eliot Prize. Max Porter, who won in 2016 for his bestselling genre-bending debut Grief Is the Thing With Feathers (Faber & Faber), said:
“The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award is a wonderful thing. It recognises that young writers need encouragement and support, and it rallies the literary community behind authors at the beginning of their career. The list of writers nominated over the years is testament to the breadth and depth of British literary culture, a culture we should be proud of and seek to nurture.
“To be nominated for the prize alongside people whose work inspires me was an honour. To win the prize was humbling and thrilling. It energised me and gave me the self-belief to consider myself a writer, to think of future books, and to consider myself part of a wider conversation, a community of people using the written word to address this strange world.”
Generously sponsored by literary agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop, the Young Writer of the Year Award has earned attention and acclaim across the publishing industry and press for identifying the best writers at work in Britain and Ireland today, providing the support that lays the foundation for successful literary careers, and connecting new writers with new audiences.
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, Jonathan Skinner, and David Vann.
A new website has been launched at youngwriteraward.com in time for the opening of this year’s prize.
Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor at The Sunday Times, said:
“The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, in association with the University of Warwick, is designed to put the spotlight on the best new writing talent from Britain and Ireland, providing young writers with the kind of encouragement and exposure that has made such a difference to the shortlistees and winners in the past. In the third year after the prize returned to enormous public and industry acclaim, I am particularly excited by the new associate partnership with the acclaimed writing course at the University of Warwick, and everything this is going to allow us to do to make our promotion of and support for young home-grown writers even stronger.”
Caroline Michel, CEO of Peters Fraser + Dunlop, said:
“Peters Fraser & Dunlop are so proud to be involved with the Young Writer Award, with its fantastic history of authors who are now household names. We recognise how important it is to support writers in every genre – poetry, fiction, history, biography – at the beginning of their careers. We are proud of what this award has achieved in the first two years of our involvement, and we are looking forward to another great year of highlighting the best writing to come.”
Professor Maureen Freely, Head of the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, said:
“We at Warwick are absolutely thrilled to be part of this new partnership, which will allow us to do more than ever before for new writers and writing. The early stages of a writing career have always been perilous, but never more so than today. Our dream is to create a space in which young writers can build up their networks and experiment with new ideas in the classroom, the community, the virtual world, and, most important, on the page. It will be an honour to host them. We firmly believe that the future of literature itself is in their hands.”
The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award in association with the University of Warwick is awarded annually to the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged between 18 and 35. £5,000 is given to the overall winner and £500 to each of the three runners-up.
Submissions close on Sunday 2 June, 2017. To be eligible 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. The 2017 judging panel will be revealed in the coming weeks, with the shortlist of four books 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.
Keep up to date with the award and join the conversation, via:
7 April 2017
Notes to Editors
About The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award in association with the University of Warwick:
Twenty-seven years old this year, the award recognises the best literary work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish writer of 35 and under. £5,000 is given to the winner, and £500 to each of the three runners-up. The award was suspended in 2008, but now, in generous partnership with Peters Fraser + Dunlop, the award has been revitalised, while building on this remarkable past, offering two significant and exciting innovations: extending its reach by including writers from Ireland and including self-published works as well as those from publishers – putting the prize in tune with the changing landscape of British publishing.
About Peters Fraser + Dunlop:
Peters Fraser + Dunlop is one of the oldest and most established literary and talent agencies in London. We are proud to represent authors, journalists, broadcasters, speakers and estates with specialist expertise in the fields of literature, film, television and radio, public speaking, digital platforms and journalism. We offer our clients the best people to work with and the expertise to develop long-term value in their work across all media while protecting their rights in today’s changing market. Our business is about creativity, enhancement, innovation and service.
About the University of Warwick:
The University of Warwick offers a bespoke 10-week winner residency, a festival of events, and a year-round programme of on-campus and digital support for alumni and the shortlist. The University of Warwick is consistently ranked in the top 10 universities in the UK and top 100 in the world. It is one of the UK's leading universities, with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research, teaching and innovation alongside pioneering links with business and industry. Is is home to the acclaimed Warwick Writing Programme, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Europe, which is currently home to renowned authors such as: Will Eaves, Maureen Freely, Michael Hulse, A.L. Kennedy, Tim Leach, David Morley, Sarah Moss, Jonathan Skinner, and David Vann.
About The Society of Authors:
The Society of Authors (SoA) administers The Sunday Times / Peters, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award. A professional organisation representing over 9,000 authors, The SoA was founded in 1884, it supports individual authors with services including contract vetting and acts as an advocate for the profession as a whole. The SoA also administers a wide range of prizes, as well as the Authors’ Foundation, which is one of the very few bodies making grants to help with work in progress for established writers.
About the Sunday Times:
The Sunday Times is the UK's largest circulation quality Sunday newspaper with a circulation of 792,210. Over 413,600 people subscribe to the digital and/or print editions of The Sunday Times and The Times. Renowned for its technological innovation, The Sunday Times is available for download on all platforms and devices including Android, Amazon Kindle and iOS. The Sunday Times has a reputation for award-winning, courageous and campaigning investigative journalism, breaking many major world exclusives. With 12 sections every week, The Sunday Times offers great value to readers and it is recognised not only for breaking news but for its unrivalled coverage of sports, business, the arts and entertainment.
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