Category: Awards

Stephen Fry announces Paul Torday Memorial Prize

Last night Stephen Fry announced the new Paul Torday Memorial Prize, at the The Society of Authors #AuthorsAwards party.

Paul published his first book, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, at the age of 60, and his sons Piers and Nick Torday have founded this new prize in his memory for the best debut novel by an author 60 or over.

We want to celebrate and encourage creativity in later life

We believe it is never too late to discover your passion

We want to promote writing as a second career

The Society is administering the award and entries are open from 1st August 2018. The deadline for entry is 15TH NOVEMBER 2018.


1. The novel must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018 for the first award, and thereafter between 1 September and 31 August in the year preceding that year’s award.

2. The novel must be a full length work by a living author.

3. The book must be in the English language and cannot be a translated work.

4. The novel must be the author’s first published full length fiction work but they can have had works published of other lengths or other genres in the past.

5. The author(s) must be aged 60 or over at the date of first print publication of the novel and living at the date of submission. In the event that the author is shortlisted, they will be asked to provide proof of age.

6. There are no residence or nationality restrictions.

7. We cannot accept books that are only available in e-format or that are only self-published or where the author has contributed or paid for the costs of publishing.

8. Submissions must be made by the print publisher.

9. The decision of the judges is final and they reserve the right not to award the Prize if, in their opinion, no works entered reach a sufficiently high standard. Judges may call in books if they so wish.

The prize will be awarded at the Society of Authors’ annual Authors’ Awards ceremony in July 2019. For any queries, please email

The Explorer wins Costa Children’s Book of the Year 2017!

Huge congratulations to Katherine Rundell who has won theCosta Children‘s Book of the Year 2017 ! It was an outstanding shortlist in an outstanding year for children’s books, but our decision was happily and conclusively unanimous for this wonderful classic in the making.

Now the category winners have been announced, we have the small task of choosing the Costa Book of the Year…

The winner, to be selected by a panel of judges chaired by novelist Wendy Holden and comprising authors and category judges Moniza Alvi, Simon Garfield, Freya North, Sophie Raworth and myself, joined by Contributing Editor, British Vogue, Laura Bailey, author and presenter, Fern Britton and actor Art Malik, will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith at Quaglino’s in central London on Tuesday 30th January 2018.

Just a reminder of the full children’s shortlist this year – every one a must read.

Sarah CrossanMoonriseBloomsbury Children’s Books
Lissa EvansWed WabbitDavid Fickling Books
Kiran Millwood HargraveThe Island at the End of EverythingChicken House

There May Be A Castle nominated for Carnegie

CILIP Carnegie

There May Be A Castle has been nominated for a CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018, one of a 121 titles nominated for this 80 year old award.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people.

Previous winners of the CILIP Carnegie Medal include Neil Gaiman, Sally Gardner, Patrick Ness, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman and C.S. Lewis.

Librarians all over the country begin reading the nominated books now in order to make a Longlist announcement on 15 February 2018, with the shortlist announced on 15th March, and the winner revealed on 18th June 2018.

I am thrilled to be listed along with so many other wonderful books and authors – good luck everybody!


Costa Book Award Judges announced.

The judges for this year’s Costa Book Award have been announced…and I’m one of them.

Along with Sanchita Basu De Sarkar from the Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill and Fiona Noble from The Bookseller, I’ll be one of the category judges for the Costa Children’s Book Award.

We’ve been spending the summer reading, and I mean READING. This is a photo of just some of the forty plus children’s and YA titles I’ve been lucky enough to read this summer.

Our shortlist is will be revealed on Tuesday 21st November 2017…it’s going to be a very, very difficult decision.

The Wild Beyond shortlisted for Islington Book Award

I was so proud to go to the Arsenal Emirates Stadium this afternoon, for a vey special ceremony, with hundreds of local Islington school children – the first ever Islington Primary Schools Book of the Year Award!

Created by the amazing team at Islington Libraries, using a road map reading ladder, this prize has got thousands of children reading dozens of truly amazing books. And I got to meet some of the amazing authors also shortlisted at the ceremony today – Pamela Butchart, Shane Hegarty, and Susan Moore! Pamela won, deservedly so, for her brilliant “Attack of the Demon Dinner Ladies” – which is also illustrated by Thomas Flintham who illustrated The Wild Books.

It was particularly special for me as until two years ago, I had lived in Islington all my adult life, and all of the Wild books were written there – just a few minutes away from the Stadium!