Mark Lawson, Kate Mosse and Anita Sethi to judge inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize

11 March 2019

New award to celebrate first time novelists over the age of 60 at the 2019 Society of Authors’ Awards in June.

Mark Lawson (photograph Abigail Zoe Martin/BBC), Kate Mosse (photograph Ruth Crafer) and Anita Sethi (photograph Toby Rhind-Tutt)

Mark Lawson, Kate Mosse and Anita Sethi have been confirmed as the judging panel for the first year of the Paul Torday Memorial Prize for debut novelists over 60.

The prize was announced in 2018 by Piers and Nick Torday, sons of novelist Paul Torday (1946-2013) with a message for both to the publishing industry and the public that ‘it truly is never too late to follow your dream’ and to show that ‘writing could be a wonderful second career for many more with a life of well-lived experience to call upon’.

Torday’s own successful writing career only began when he entered semi-retirement and in 2006 published his first best-selling novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, at the age of 60.

In a statement on the line-up of judges, Piers Torday said:

We could not think of a better way to remember our father and his literary legacy than with a prize that honours those who, like him, come to writing later in life.

We are both so thrilled that this highly experienced trio of judges, with such a broad range of critical sensibilities and views between them, are now on board to choose an award winning senior debut, and launch the winner on a whole new career at an age when many others are finishing theirs.

Piers Torday (photograph James Betts)

Award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster Anita Sethi said:

I’m delighted to a be a Judge of this important and much-needed prize in its inaugural year, through which we can celebrate that it’s never too late to follow your passion and fulfil your talent - and that sometimes the finest flowers are the latest to bloom.

International best-selling author Kate Mosse said:

I'm delighted to be part of this celebration of older voices.  Storytelling is about the wisdom of years as well as the power of imagination, of character, and I'm hugely looking forward to discovering new voices.

The winner will receive £1,000 plus a set of Paul Torday's collected works. Runners-up will receive one specially-selected Paul Torday novel with a commemorative book plate.

The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize will be awarded at the 2019 Society of Authors' Awards ceremony at Southwark Cathedral in June.

About the judges

Mark Lawson

Mark Lawson is a journalist, broadcaster and author. He has published four novels: IdlewildGoing Out LiveEnough Is Enough and The Deaths, and his work as a broadcaster includes BBC Radio 4's Front RowForeign Bodies - A History of Crime Fiction and BBC4's Mark Lawson Talks to… He also writes for the Guardian and the New Statesman.

Kate Mosse

Kate Mosse is the author of eight novels & short story collections, three works of non-fiction and four plays. A champion of women's creativity, she is the Founder Director of the Women's Prize for Fiction – the largest annual celebration of women's writing in the world – and sits on the Executive Committee of Women of the World. She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to literature and women and was named Woman of the Year for her service to the arts in the Everywoman Awards. Her latest No 1 bestseller, The Burning Chambers is out in paperback from 7 March.

Anita Sethi

Anita Sethi is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster who has written for the Guardian, Observer and Sunday Times, among others. She has appeared as a guest panellist and commentator on radio, interviewed leading figures in culture and politics and worked as a columnist, critic and feature writer across the national press, published in anthologies and books including From There to Here, Solstice Shorts, Roads Ahead, and The Book Club Bible and is currently completing a book.

About Paul Torday

Paul Torday (photograph J C Torday), and reading with his sons, Piers and Nick

Paul Torday (1946 – 2013) was a businessman and author of nine books. His first novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, was an immediate international bestseller, later made into a film starring Ewan MacGregor and Emily Blunt. His fiction has been translated into twenty-eight languages and won several awards, including the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

 

COMMENTS

DL Baylis (21/05/2019 01:57)
" I published my first novel, Daphne's Ghost in March 2019. It's a novel about Daphne du Maurier. My readers have described the story as very funny, and filled with suspenseful episodes.
Would Daphne's Ghost be eligible for submission for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction?
Available on Amazon and bookshops. See review on the official Daphne du Maurier website.
Thank you,
DL Baylis"
Jane Corbett (19/03/2019 11:11)
" I published a young adult book with Collins in 1986. I am now 77 and published my first adult novel. 'Looking for Home', in 2016. Am I eligible to submit it for the Paul Torday Memorial Prize?"
Mrs. Iris LLOYD (15/03/2019 11:49)
" I have been unable to find the rules for entering the Paul Torday Memorial Prize. I wrote my first novel at the age of 70 and have just self published my eighth, all historical novels with the exception of the seventh. I will be 88 in June.
Does self publishing prohibit entry?
Information on the format required, etc. would be much appreciated.
Regards, Iris Lloyd"
David Deanshaw (15/03/2019 04:12)
" Can I nominate my first, and so far only, book.? I am 78 years old and it took me 5 years to write.,so I was well over 60 at the start point. It has a message about greed and fraud in the City of London that I saw at close quarters. There is also an issue of treachery and revenge. I was encouraged to go through the selfpublishing route via Createspace. I hope that does not disqualify me? Do I need to provide 3 copies? There are some good reviews on Amazon."
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