The Award

The Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award 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 aged 18 – 35 years. The winner receives £5,000, as well as a ten week residency at the University of Warwick and a two-year membership of the London Library. There are three prizes of £500 each for runners-up, alongside a one year membership to the London Library each. The winning book will be a work of outstanding literary merit. The award is an annual prize, sponsored by the Sunday Times and the University of Warwick.  The British Council is the international partner of the award. The prize is administered by the Society of Authors. To apply and for more information about the prize please visit the Society of Authors website.

For young writers, a prize makes all the difference: not just the publicity flare, or the tag-line on the paperback jacket, but the jag of confidence it brings. Someone believes in your prose, someone has prized those sentences you spent all those years laying end to end… Nothing crushes the wish to write quite like apathy; nothing boosts it quite like being read and responded to carefully. [After winning the award in 2004] I started to think I might be able to write another book – that became The Wild Places (2007), and here I am in 2015, six books down and another underway, thinking back more than a decade to the Prize, and the huge boost it gave me.” Robert Macfarlane, winner 2004    


The 2020 Award is now closed for submissions. Both published and self-published books may be entered for the award, and may be sent by post or via email (as PDFs if in ebook format). Please ensure you complete the correct entry form for your submission.

  • UK and Irish citizens and those who have been resident in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland for the past three years preceding the award are all eligible.
  • For the 2020 award, the author must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years on 31 December 2020.
  • The work submitted must be by one author in the English language.
  • To be eligible books must have been first published in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland, in the English language, between 15 June 2019 and 22 June 2020.
  • ebooks must be submitted in PDF format. Note for publishers: Publishers may enter up to two entries per imprint and may provide a written submission for one further title for possible call in.

Enter Now

Key Dates for 2020

Submission period opened – 20 April 2020

Submission period closed – 22 June 2020

Shortlist announcement – 1 November 2020

Winner announcement – 10 December 2020

Young Writer Award @YoungWriterYear

Follow us on twitter. The Young Writer of the Year Award is a prize of £5,000 for a writer under 35.

This site uses cookies to ensure the best user experience. Read More

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.