The Winston Graham Historical Prize which started 2008 has become a major landmark in the publishing calendar. Over the past 8 years it has recognised the work of dozens of authors and helped the careers of many writers.

In 2016 the prize for historical fiction was awarded to Martin Sutton for his book, Lost Paradise.

Martin becomes the first London-based writer to win the Winston Graham prize, taking the award of £3,000, funded by a legacy from Winston Graham, for an epic, historical novel based in the South West.

The judges for the newly launched competition are: novelist Jessica Mann, Peggotty Graham (Poldark author Winston Graham’s daughter-in-law) and Tracey Guiry, CEO of Literature Works.

Chair and author Jessica Mann says; “Talking about novels is almost as much fun as reading them, and we’re all greatly looking forward to this double pleasure. It’s a privilege to be a member of this very distinguished panel and to be part of the deliberations for the award of the Winston Graham Historical Prize.”

Announcing the winner Peggotty Graham, said; “My father-in-law would have been absolutely delighted at the quality of the entrants and would for sure think we had found a worthy winner.”

She added; “Lost Paradise is a fictional history of the gardeners of Heligan set during World War One and is both a war story and a poignant love story. It is also a book of big themes and wide scope and it gripped the imaginations of all the judges. Because of the high quality of the shortlist it was a hard decision but in the end it was a unanimous one.”

“The whole Graham family is delighted to have this prize commemorating Winston’s name and can’t wait for the next competition.”

Peggotty is a former consultant in Supported Open Learning, Dean & Director of Studies at the Open University and Trustee of the Open College of the Arts. She is currently on the Advisory Group of Oxford Philomusica, and a trustee of Balliol College Boat Club.

The next Winston Graham Historical Prize deadline for completed works of historical fiction is 1st June 2017. More details on the new competition are here:

Martin Sutton was born in London, but was raised in Kenya: a formative experience, which profoundly influenced his life and thinking.

Returning to England he received a BA (English Literature), MA (American Studies) and a subsequent Librarianship Diploma.

In parallel with his career as a professional librarian, he has worked as a freelance film/theatre critic, contributing pieces to numerous magazines, part-works, and several chapters in books on the cinema.

In 2013, his novel Lost Paradise was the winner of the inaugural 2013 Historical Novel Society International Award

In 2002, (in an earlier version) the same novel was runner-up in WH Smith Raw Talent Competition, for unpublished novelists.

A trip to the South Seas inspired Strangers in Paradise, a non-fiction book published by HarperCollins, but he has also written several completed, unpublished novels, mostly set against the world wars.