Joanne Harris hails ‘writing as a force to be reckoned with’ as she presents the winners of the 2021 Society of Authors’ Awards

Joanne Harris hails ‘writing as a force to be reckoned with’ as she presents the winners of the 2021 Society of Authors’ Awards

The Society of Authors has actually exposed the names of the winning writers, poets and illustrators from around the world who will share in the UK’s greatest literary reward fund, worth over ₤100,000, in an online event.

The acclaimed author of Chocolat Joanne Harris welcomed an international audience to commemorate the 2021 Society of Authors’ Awards.
The trade union – which counts such household literary names as Philip Pullman, Hilary Mantel, Kazuo Ishiguro, Neil Gaiman and JK Rowling amongst its members, as well as 11,500 jobbing writers, translators, illustrators and journalists – shared ₤105,775 between 35 writers, poets and illustrators in a celebration of the ‘incredible depth and breadth of books and words’

The winners consisted of Thomas McMullan, who won the ₤10,000 Betty Trask Prize for his dark dystopian launching The Last Good Male; poet Paula Claire who this week celebrates 60 years of developing poetry as well as her Cholmondeley Award; Graeme Armstrong, who won both a Betty Trask Award and a Somerset Maugham Award for The Young Team; attorney turned kids’s writer Rashmi Sirdeshpande and illustrator Diane Ewen who won the Queen’s Knickers Award, now in its 2nd year, for Never Ever Program a T-Rex a Book; Waterstones Children’s Book Reward and British Book Awards winner Kiran Millwood Hargrave who won a Betty Trask Award for her debut adult book The Mercies; and Pulitzer Reward winner Fredrik Logevall who won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Bio for JFK Volume 1

Gboyega Odubanjo, Milena Williamson and Cynthia Miller were amongst the young poets commemorated in the Eric Gregory Awards, while other award recipients included Forward Prize winner Kei Miller, acclaimed writer Lola Okolosie, playwright and education worker Lamorna Ash, and short fiction author and literary customer DM O’Connor.

Introducing the Awards, Harris reviewed the current obstacles facing the author community, saying, ‘for authors, whose professions are precarious at the best of times, the obstacle to sustain themselves today is more intense than ever.’

She continued, ‘that is why everyone are here to commemorate the remarkable depth and breadth of books and words. Authors at the very start of their professions. Authors that are well established. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and whatever that depends on between. Literature as a treasure at the centre of society. Writing as a force to be considered.’

In his approval speech, Kei Miller described his Cholmondeley Award as ‘a terrific tip that we belong to a lot of societies therefore many nations’. McKitterick Reward winner Elaine Feeney spoke of the ‘beautiful increase’ the prize has actually given her, validating ‘indications of life off the West coast of Ireland!’

Queen’s Knickers Award winner Rashmi Sirdeshpande thanked ‘everyone who has helped [Never Show a T-Rex a Book] discover its method into the hands of a kid’. And Graeme Johnson whose novel The Young Team mirrors his own experiences of dependency and Scottish gang culture stated he hopes his 2 awards will ‘speak volumes to the young men and ladies in my neighborhood about the distinct possibility of their difficult.’

As she closed the ceremony, Joanne Harris said, ‘There’s no much better method to support authors than to read them, so I advise you all to pick up tonight’s winners from your local bookshop and discover their worlds.’

The winners for each award are:

The ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award

Sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), the ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award is granted for a short story by an author who has had at least one brief story accepted for publication. Previous winners include Benjamin Myers, Lucy Wood, Grace Ingoldby and Claire Harman.

  • Winner: DM O’connor for I Told You Not to Fly So High Granted ₤ 1,000
  • Runner-Up: Sean Lusk for The Hopelessness of Hope Granted ₤575

Betty Trask Reward & Awards

The Betty Trask Prize and Awards exist for a very first book by a writer under35 Evaluated by Sara Collins, Elanor Dymott and Vaseem Khan. Previous winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Overall prize and award fund: ₤26,200

Betty Trask Reward Winner

  • Thomas Mcmullan for The Last Excellent Guy ( Bloomsbury) Awarded ₤10,000

Betty Trask Awards Winners

5 winners, each awarded ₤ 3,240

  • Maame Blue for Bad Love(Jacaranda Books)
  • Eley Williams for The Phony’s Dictionary(William Heinemann/Cornerstone Prh)
  • Kiran Millwood Hargrave for The Mercies(Pan Macmillan/Picador)
  • Nneoma Ike-Njoku for The Water House(Unpublished)
  • Graeme Armstrong for The Young Team(Pan Macmillan Picador)

Cholmondeley Award winners

5 winners each granted ₤ 1,680

The Cholmondeley Awards are awarded for a body of work by a poet. Evaluated by Moniza Alvi, Grace Nichols and Deryn Rees-Jones. Past winners consist of Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard and Andrew Movement. Total prize fund: ₤ 8,400

  • Kei Miller
  • Paula Claire
  • Maurice Riordan
  • Susan Wicks
  • Katrina Porteous

Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Bio

The Elizabeth Longford Reward for Historic Bio is an annual award for historic bio which integrates scholarship and story drive. Evaluated by Roy FosterFlora Fraser, Antonia Fraser, Richard Davenport-Hines and Rana Mitter. Past winners consist of D.W. Hayton, Anne Somerset and Philip Ziegler. Overall prize fund: ₤ 5,000

  • Winner: Fredrik Logevall for JFK Volume 1 ( Viking)

Eric Gregory Award winners

7 winners each awarded ₤ 4,050

The Eric Gregory Award is provided for a collection of poems by a poet under30 Previous winners include Carol Ann Duffy, Helen Mort and Alan Hollinghurst.

  • Phoebe Walker for Animal Sounds
  • Michael Askew for The Association Video Game
  • Gboyega Odubanjo for Aunty Uncle Poems
  • Kandace Siobhan Walker for Cowboy
  • Cynthia Miller for Honorifics
  • Milena Williamson for The Red Trapeze
  • Dominic Hand for Symbiont

McKitterick Reward

The McKitterick Reward is awarded for a first novel by an author over40 Evaluated by Sabrina Mahfouz, Nick Rennison and Christopher Tayler. Previous winners include Helen Dunmore, Mark Haddon and Petina Gappah. Total prize fund: ₤ 5,250

  • Winner: Elaine Feeney for As You Were(Harvill Secker, Vintage) Granted ₤ 4,000
  • Runner-Up: Deepa Anappara for Devil Patrol on the Purple Line(Chatto & Windus, Vintage) Granted ₤ 1,250

Paul Torday Memorial Reward

Now in its 3rd year, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize is awarded to a very first novel by a writer over60 The reward includes a set of the gathered works of British author Paul Torday, who released his very first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the age of60 Judged by Paul Bailey, Roopa Farooki and Anne Youngson. Previous winners are Anne Youngson and Donald S Murray.

Overall prize fund: ₤ 1,000

  • Winner: Kathy O’shaughnessy for In Love with George Eliot ( Scribe Uk) Granted ₤ 1,000
  • Runner-Up: Karen Raney for All the Water in the World ( John Murray/Two Roads)

The Queen’s Knickers Award

Now in its second year, this yearly prize, established by Nicholas Allan, author of The Queen’s Knickers, is awarded for an impressive kids’s original illustrated book for ages 0-7. It identifies books that strike a wacky, new note and get the attention of a child, whether in the type of curiosity, amusement, horror or excitement. Evaluated by Alexis Deacon, Patrice Lawrence and Tony Ross. The inaugural winner of this award in 2020 was Elena Arevalo Melville for Umbrella Overall prize fund: ₤ 6,000

  • Winners: Writer Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Illustrator Diane Ewen for Never Ever Program a T-Rex a Book ( Puffin) Granted ₤ 5,000
  • Runner-Up: Alex T. Smith for Mr Penguin and the Catastrophic Cruise(Hachette) Granted ₤ 1,000

Somerset Maugham Award winners

4 winners each awarded ₤ 4,000

The Somerset Maugham Awards are for released works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by authors under 30, to enable them to enrich their work by getting experience of foreign nations. Past winners include Helen Oyeyemi, Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith and Jonathan Freedland.

  • Lamorna Ash for Dark, Salt, Clear(Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Isabelle Baafi for Ripe(Ignition Press)
  • Akeem Balogun for The Storm(Okapi Books)
  • Graeme Armstrong for The Young Team(Pan Macmillan Picador)

Travelling Scholarships

5 winners each granted ₤ 1,600

The Taking a trip Scholarships are awarded to British writers to make it possible for engagement with writers abroad. Overall prize fund: ₤ 8,000

  • Clare Pollard
  • Guy Gunaratne
  • Yara Rodrigues Fowler
  • Tom Stevenson
  • Lola Okolosie

Press release dispersed by Pressat on behalf of Society of Authors, on Thursday 10 June,2021 For more information subscribe and follow

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