Acclaimed broadcaster James Naughtie and award winning historian Stella Tillyard, will join literary editor Andrew Holgate on the judging panel for The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2016.
The prize is awarded annually to the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged between 18 and 35, earning attention and acclaim across the publishing industry and press. £5,000 is given to the overall winner and £500 to each of the three runners-up.
Following a seven year break, the prestigious award returned with a bang last year, awarding debut poet Sarah Howe the top prize for her phenomenal first collection, Loop of Jade, which then went on to win the country’s leading prize for poetry, the T.S. Eliot Prize.
James Naughtie became a household name first as presenter of Radio 4’s The World at One and then in 1994 of The Today Programme. He presents Radio 4’s Bookclub and is BBC News Books Editor and special correspondent for BBC News, while his own writing has been published to critical acclaim, from political portraits (The Rivals, The Accidental American) and history (The New Elizabethans) to his political thriller, The Madness of July and recently released novel, Paris Spring. Naughtie has chaired both the Man Booker and Samuel Johnson judging panels.
He is joined by historian and writer, Stella Tillyard, who won the History Today Award, the Fawcett Prize, and the Meilleur Livre Etranger, for her 1994 biography of four sisters, Aristocrats, before releasing Citizen Lord (shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize) and A Royal Affair. Tillyard has sat on several prize juries, mostly recently the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2010, and in 2011 she published her first novel, Tides of War.
James Naughtie said: “There’s so much good writing around that I know we’re going to uncover great talent from this year’s crop. I can’t wait to spend reading time with the next generation of young writers.”
Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor at The Sunday Times and the final judge, said: “I’m honoured to be joined on this year’s judging panel by two acclaimed writers of both fiction and non-fiction. We have a great task ahead of us: The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award is designed to celebrate the best of new British and Irish writing talent, whether published or self-published, and offer the sort of encouragement and exposure that has made such a difference to past shortlistees and winners, from Robert MacFarlane, Simon Armitage and Sarah Waters, to last year’s winner, Sarah Howe.”
Submissions for the prize closed on Sunday 1 May, 2016, with books eligible if published between Wednesday 1 July, 2015, and Sunday 1 May, 2016. For the second year, the prize is also open to self-published works and e-books.
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).
The 2016 shortlist of four books will be announced in November, followed by the winner in December.
For further information and submission details, including full terms and conditions, please visit http://www.societyofauthors.org/sunday-times-pfd.
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