Congratulations to Anne Youngson, winner of the inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize, for her wonderful book Meet Me At The Museum, and to runner up Norma MacMaster for the haunting Silence Under A Stone.
The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize is awarded to a first novel by a writer over 60. Prize fund £1,000 plus a set of the collected works of British writer Paul Torday, who himself only published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the age of 60.
PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE WINNER:
ANNE YOUNGSON FOR MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM AWARDED £1,00
Anne Youngson, 70, worked for many years in senior management in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. Meet Me at the Museum is her debut novel. Anne lives in Oxfordshire.
Anita Sethi, Paul Torday Memorial Prize Judge says:
I loved this engrossing story of friendship and family – it fascinates both in the form of its excellent use of the epistolary, and in its content as it explores actual human archaeology and the archaeology of the human heart.
PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE RUNNER-UP: NORMA MACMASTER FOR SILENCE UNDER A STONE (DOUBLEDAY IRELAND) Age at publication: 81
Norma MacMaster was born and reared in County Cavan before continuing her studies in Derry, Dublin, Belfast and Montreal. She was a secondary school teacher and counsellor in Ireland and Canada and was ordained a minister of the Church of Ireland in 2004. A contributor to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio 1, she is the author of a memoir, Over My Shoulder. She and her late husband have one daughter. Norma lives by the sea in North County Dublin and wrote Silence Under A Stone ‘a bit now and a bit then’, typing with two fingers in her attic. It is her first novel. Norma was born in Cavan and lives in Dublin.
Kate Mosse, Paul Torday Memorial Prize Judge says:
A beautiful, subtle, elegant novel! A story of closed communities, of the schisms of religion, of fear, and faith, of anger and being unable to forgive, this is a beautifully written and very moving story.
The awards were given out by Jackie Kay at the The Society of AuthorsAwards Party in Southwark Cathedral, introduced by Philip Pullman, where £100,000 of prize money was given out in total.