Date posted: 7th April 2017 / News
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.
Organisers are 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, Ian Sansom, 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.