Stephen Fry to present 2018 Authors' Awards

14 May 2018

Announcing our esteemed panel of award-winning judges for the SoA's annual night of 'riches' - eight awards worth more than £98,000 in total.

Stephen Fry, Joanne Harris, Inua Ellams, Pascale Petit,
Tahmima Anam and Jen Campbell

Award-winning actor, presenter and director, Stephen Fry will present the 2018 Authors’ Awards alongside a panel of celebrated judges to include Joanne Harris, Francis Fyfield, Samantha Shannon, Tahmima Anam, Pascale Petit, Inua Ellams and Jen Campbell.

The Authors' Awards, the annual night of riches which has rewarded the early works of some of today’s most prominent literary figures such as Zadie Smith, Seamus Heaney, Helen Dunmore, Hari Kunzru, Carol Ann Duffy and Mark Haddon and honoured the careers of established figures including Dylan Thomas, Fay Weldon, William Golding and Margaret Drabble, sees the UK’s biggest literary fund of more than £98,000 awarded to more than 20 established and emerging writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The Authors’ Awards will take place at RIBA on the evening of Thursday 19th July and will play host to 400 guests from across publishing and SoA membership (tickets are going on sale for members soon!).

Talking about the Authors’ Awards, Stephen Fry says:

“I’m delighted to be presenting the Author’s Awards on 19th July. It’ll be an incredibly rich night, and not only for the £90,000 in prizes ready to be shared with the winners. It isn’t about naming a single winning book – it’s about rewarding a wide range of writers for a wide range of writing, and that in itself makes it unique. New writers and established ones celebrated side by side. I’ve seen names like Zadie Smith, Meera Syal, Martin Amis, John Le CarrĂ© and Angela Carter on lists of previous winners, so the rich history of the Awards speaks volumes. I’m excited to find out who’ll become part of that history in July.”

In a unique evening of celebration - with all the awards chosen by authors for authors - eight key awards will be announced, each judged by celebrated authors, writers and poets; many former winners themselves. The shortlist for the Awards will be announced on Wednesday 13th June 2018.

Meet the judges for each award

The awards presented on the night are the:

Betty Trask Prize and Awards

Judged by Ben Brooks, Joanne Harris and Samantha Shannon

The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35. Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Total prize and award fund is £26,250.

International bestselling author and Betty Trask Award judge, Joanne Harris, says:

“I’m looking forward to another extraordinary experience judging the Trask this year. The shortlist is always very strong, very original and reflects the excellent quality and diversity of new writers today.

Eric Gregory Award

Judged by Inua Ellams, John Greening, Helen Ivory, Carol Rumens, Michael Symmons Roberts and Ahren Warner

The Eric Gregory Award is presented for a collection of poems by a poet under 30. Past winners include Carol Ann Duffy, Tom Chivers, Helen Mort and Alan Hollinghurst. Total award fund £28,350.

McKitterick Prize

Judged by Frances Fyfield, Aamer Hussein and Abir Mukherjee

The McKitterick Prize is awarded to a first novel by a writer over 40. Past winners include Helen Dunmore, Mark Haddon and Petinah Gappah. Total prize fund £5,250.

Somerset Maugham Awards

Judged by Jen Campbell, Barney Norris and Ian Thomson

The Somerset Maugham Awards are for published works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by writers under 35, to enable them to enrich their work by gaining experience of foreign countries. Past winners include Hari Kunzru, Helen Oyeyemi, Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith and Jonathan Freedland. Total prize fund £15,750.

Award-winning poet and short story writer and judge for the Somerset Maugham Awards 2018 Jen Campbell says:

“Judging the Somerset Maugham Award is always a pleasure and, given the prize covers novels, non-fiction, poetry and short stories, I’m eager to discover wildly different, but equally, excellent books along the way.”

Tom-Gallon Trust Award

Judged by Paul Bailey and Irenosen Okojie

The Tom-Gallon Trust Award is awarded for a short story by a writer who has had at least one short story accepted for publication. Previous winners include Benjamin Myers, Lucy Wood, Grace Ingoldby and Claire Harman. Total award fund £1,575.

Former Betty Trask Award winner and judge for the Tom-Gallon Award 2018, Irenosen Okojie says:

“I’m delighted to be judging the Tom-Gallon award this year. The short story form continues to excite me. I look forward to unearthing compelling new voices.”

Cholmondeley Awards

Judged by Paul Farley, Rod Mengham, Grace Nichols and Pascale Petit

The Cholmondeley Awards are awarded for a body of work by a poet. Previous winners have included Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard and Andrew Motion. Total prize fund: £8,400.

Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography

Judged by Richard Davenport-Hines, Roy Foster (chair), Antonia Fraser and Flora Fraser

Awarded for a historical biography, this year’s winner has just been announced (9th May) as Giles Tremlett for Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen (Bloomsbury). Total prize fund: £5,000.

Travelling Scholarships

Judged by Tahmima Anam, Maura Dooley, Adam O'Riordan, Sameer Rahim and Jane Ridley

The Travelling Scholarships were established in 1944 to enable British creative writers to keep in contact with writing colleagues abroad. Previous recipients have included C. Day-Lewis, Dylan Thomas, Laurie Lee, Margaret Drabble and Helen Simpson. Total prize fund: £7,875.

Managing Editor of Prospect Magazine and judge for the Travelling Scholarship Awards 2018, Sameer Rahim, says:

“I’m very much looking forward to helping award the Travelling Scholarships: distributing funds to deserving authors is always a pleasure.”