After a six year break, the award has been relaunched this year by the Sunday Times and literary agents Peters Fraser & Dunlop to recognise the best literary work of fiction, non-fiction and poetry by British or Irish writer aged 35 and under. A grand prize of £5000 is up for grabs for the overall winner, with the three runners up receiving £500 each. The shortlist was recently announced and covers a broad variety of genres.
Ben Fergusson makes the shortlist with his acclaimed historical fiction debut The Spring of Kasper Meier (published by Little, Brown) set in post-Third Reich Berlin.
Sarah Howe’s first book of poems Loop of Jade (published by Chatto & Windus) is an exploration of heritage and identity as she uncovers her Hong Kong roots.
One of Granta’s Best of British Novelists 2013, Sunjeev Sahota is the author of The Year of the Runaways (published by Picador) a story set between England and India about dignity in the face of adversity.
Last but not least is Sara Taylor with her Baileys prize nominated collection of interlinked short stories The Shore (published by William Heineman).
The judging panel this year are novelist and winner in 2000 Sarah Waters, Sunday Times Literary Editor Andrew Holgate and Chief Fiction Reviewer Peter Kemp.
“This is a wonderful line-up of books from four extremely talented writers. I think what’s particularly thrilling is the range of work on display here, as well as its quality. Each of these books confronts the complexities of life, but each has its own distinct style, its own energy. Collectively, they offer a very exciting snapshot of the literary scene.” - Sarah Waters
At time of writing, I’ve not had the pleasure of any of these books but they all sound fantastic in their own right and they’ve all been added to my reading list. I’ve heard great things about all of these books and so it sounds like it’s going to be a tough choice for the judges.
The winner will be announced in December 2015. Who would you choose as Young Writer of the Year 2015?
*Now I have read all the books (review links above) I do not envy the judges their choices. All these books are brilliant in their own special way and it has been such a pleasure reading them all. If a gun was to my head then I would have to say that The Shore was my favourite of the four although all would be worthy winners. Am looking foward to the winner's announcement!*