Betty Trask Award

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The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are for first novels written by authors under the age of 35, who reside in a current or former Commonwealth nation. Each year the awards total £20,000, with one author receiving a larger prize amount, called the "Prize", and the remainder given to one or more other writers, called the "Awards".[1] The award was established in 1984 by the Society of Authors, at the bequest of the late Betty Trask, a reclusive author of over thirty romance novels.[2] The awards are given to traditional or romantic novels, rather than those of an experimental style, and can be for published or unpublished works.[3]

List of award and prize winners[edit]


Betty Trask Award winners, 1984-1989
Year Author Title Prize
1984 Ronald Frame Winter Journey £6,750
Clare Nonhebel Cold Showers £6,750
James Buchan A Parish of Rich Women £1,000
Helen Harris Playing Fields in Winter £1,000
Gareth Jones The Disinherited £1,000
Simon Rees The Devil's Looking Glass £1,000
1985 Susan Kay Legacy £12,500
Gary Armitage A Season of Peace £1,000
Elizabeth Ironside A Very Private Enterprise £1,000
Alice Mitchell Instead of Eden £1,000
George Schweiz The Earth Abides For Ever £1,000
Caroline Stickland The Standing Hills £1,000
1986 Tim Parks Tongues of Flame £9,000
Patricia Ferguson Family, Myths and Legends £4,500
Philippa Blake Mzungu's Wife £1,000
Matthew Kneale Whore Banquets £1,000
J. F. McLaughlin The Road to Dilmun £1,000
Kate Saunders The Prodigal Father £1,000
1987 James Maw Hard Luck £8,000
Peter Benson The Levels £4,500
Helen Flint Return Journey £4,500
Catherine Arnold Lost Time £1,000
H. S. Bhabra Gestures £1,000
Lucy Pinney The Pink Stallion £1,000
1988 Alex Martin The General Interruptor MS £6,500
Candia McWilliam A Case of Knives £6,500
Georgina Andrewes Behind the Waterfall £2,000
James Friel Left of North £2,000
Glenn Patterson Burning Your Own £2,000
Susan Webster Small Tales of a Town £2,000
1989 Nigel Watts The Life Game £10,000
William Riviere Watercolour Sky £5,000
Paul Houghton Harry's Last Wedding £2,000
Alasdair McKee Uncle Henry's Last Stand £2,000


Betty Trask Award winners, 1990-1999
Year Author Title Prize
1990 Robert McLiam Wilson Ripley Bogle £16,000
Elizabeth Chadwick The Wild Hunt £3,000
Rosemary Cohen No Strange Land £3,000
Nicholas Shakespeare The Vision of Elena Silves £3,000
1991 Amit Chaudhuri A Strange and Sublime Address £10,000
Mark Swallow Teaching Little Fang £7,000
Suzannah Dunn Quite Contrary £2,000
Lesley Glaister Honour Thy Father £2,000
Simon Mason The Great English Nude £2,000
Nino Ricci Lives of the Saints £2,000
1992 Peter M. Rosenburg Kissing Through a Pane of Glass £5,000
Tibor Fischer Under the Frog £3,000
Liane Jones The Dream Stone £3,000
Eugene Mullan The Last of His Line £3,000
Edward St Aubyn Never Mind £3,000
1993 Mark Blackaby You'll Never be Here Again £10,000
Andrew Cowan Pig £7,000
Simon Corrigan Tommy Was Here £5,000
Joanna Briscoe Mothers and Other Lovers £2,000
Olivia Fane Landing on Clouds £2,000
1994 Colin Bateman Divorcing Jack £12,000
Nadeem Aslam Season of the Rainbirds £10,000
Guy Burt After the Hole £1,000
Frances Liardet The Game £1,000
Jonathan Rix Some Hope £1,000
1995 Robert Newman Dependence Day £10,000
Mark Behr The Smell of Apples £8,000
Martina Evans Midnight Feast £3,000
Rohit Manchanda A Speck of Coaldust £1,000
Juliet Thomas Hallelujah Jordan £1,000
Philippa Walshe The Latecomer £1,000
Madeleine Wickham The Tennis Party £1,000
1996 John Lanchester The Debt to Pleasure £8,000
Meera Syal Anita and Me £7,000
Rhidian Brook The Testimony of Taliesin Jones £5,000
Louis Caron Buss The Luxury of Exile £5,000
1997 Alex Garland The Beach £12,000
Josie Barnard Poker Face £5,000
Ardashir Vakil Beach Boy £5,000
Diran Adebayo Some Kind of Black £1,500
Sanjida O'Connell Theory of Mind £1,500
1998 Kiran Desai Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard £10,000
Nick Earls Zigzag Street £8,000
Phil Whitaker Eclipse of the Sun £5,000
Tobias Hill Underground £1,000
Gail Anderson-Dargatz The Cure for Death by Lightning £1,000
1999 Elliot Perlman Three Dollars £7,000
Catherine Chidgey In a Fishbone Church £6,000
Giles Foden The Last King of Scotland £4,000
Dennis Bock Olympia £3,000
Rajeev Balasubramanyam In Beautiful Disguises £2,500
Sarah Waters Tipping the Velvet £1,000


Since 2009, the Betty Trask Prize has been given to a single author; the remaining receive the Betty Trask Award. A blue ribbon (Blue ribbon) indicates the winner for that year.

Betty Trask Award winners, 2000-2009
Year Author Title Prize Ref.
2000 Jonathan Tulloch The Season Ticket £10,000
Julia Leigh The Hunter £7,000
Susan Elderkin Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains £4,000
Galaxy Craze By the Shore £2,000
Nicholas Griffin The Requiem Shark £2,000
2001 Zadie Smith White Teeth £8,000
Justin Hill The Drink and Dream Teahouse £5,000
Maggie O'Farrell After You'd Gone £5,000
Vivien Kelly Take One Young Man £4,000
Mohsin Hamid Moth Smoke £2,500
Patrick Neate Musungu Jim and the Great Chief Tuloko £2,500
2002 Hari Kunzru The Impressionist £8,000 [4]
Rachel Seiffert The Dark Room £5,000
Shamim Sarif The World Unseen £4,000
Helen Cross My Summer of Love £2,000
Chloe Hooper A Child's Book of True Crime £2,000
Susanna Jones The Earthquake Bird £2,000
Gwendoline Riley Cold Water £2,000
2003 Jon McGregor If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things £10,000
Sarah Hall Haweswater £6,000
Stephanie Merritt Gaveston £4,000
Elizabeth Garner Nightdancing £2,000
Zoë Strachan Negative Space £2,000
Adam Thirlwell Politics £1,000
2004 Louise Dean Becoming Strangers £8,000
Hannah MacDonald The Sun Road £6,000
Anthony Cartwright The Afterglow £3,000
Siddharth Dhanvant Sanghvi The Last Song of Dusk £3,000
2005 Susan Fletcher Eve Green £16,000
Diana Evans 26a £2,000
Helen Walsh Brass £2,000
2006 Nick Laird Utterly Monkey £10,000
Peter Hobbs The Short Day Dying £5,000
Nicola Monaghan The Killing Jar £5,000
2007 Will Davis My Side of the Story £10,000
Adam Foulds The Truth About These Strange Times £2,500
Cynan Jones The Long Dry £2,500
Julie Maxwell You Can Live Forever £2,500
Karen Mcleod In Search of the Missing Eyelash £2,500
2008 David Szalay London and the South £10,000
Ross Raisin God's Own Country £6,000
Thomas Leveritt The Exchange Rate Between Love and Money £2,000
Anna Ralph The Floating Island £2,000
2009 Blue ribbon Samantha Harvey The Wilderness £12,000
Eleanor Catton The Rehearsal £8,000


Betty Trask Award winners, 2010-2019
Year Author Title Prize Ref.
2010 Nadifa Mohamed Black Mamba Boy £10,000
Evie Wyld After the Fire, A Still Small Voice £7,000
Jenn Ashworth A Kind of Intimacy £1,500
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani I Do Not Come To You By Chance £1,500
2011 Anjali Joseph Saraswati Park £10,000 [5]
Laura Barton Twenty-One Locks £6,000
Simon Lelic Rupture £2,500
Robert Williams Luke and Jon £2,500
2012 David Whitehouse Bed £8,000
Kalinda Ashton The Danger Game £3,000
Elizabeth Day Scissors, Paper, Stone £3,000
Annabel Pitcher My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece £3,000
Emma Jane Unsworth Hungry the Stars and Everything £3,000
2013 Grace McCleen The Land of Decoration £8,000
Chibundu Onuzo The Spider King's Daughter £7,000
Francesca Segal The Innocents £2,500
Will Wiles Care of Wooden Floors £2,500
2014 Nathan Filer The Shock of the Fall £10,000 [6]
NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names £3,750
Sam Byers Idiopathy £3,750
Mave Fellowes Chaplin and Company £3,750
Matt Greene Ostrich £3,750
2015 Ben Fergusson The Spring of Kasper Meier £10,000 [7]
Emma Healey Elizabeth is Missing £5,000
Zoe Pilger Eat My Heart Out £5,000
Simon Wroe Chop Chop £5,000
2016 Alex Christofi Glass £10,000 [8]
Irenosen Okojie Butterfly Fish £5,000
Natasha Pulley The Watchmaker of Filigree Street £5,000
Lucy Wood Wood for Weathering £5,000
2017 Daniel Shand Fallow £10,000 [8]
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan Harmless Like You £3,000
Elnathan John Born on a Tuesday £3,000
Kathleen Jowitt Speak Its Name £3,000
Rob McCarthy The Hollow Men £3,000
Barney Norris Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain £3,000
2018 Omar Robert Hamilton The City Always Wins £10,000
Sarah Day Mussolini's Island £3,250
Clare Fisher All the Good Things £3,250
Eli Goldstone Strange Heart Beating £3,250
Lloyd Markham Bad Ideas/Chemicals £3,250
Masande Ntshanga The Reactive £3,250
2019 James Clarke The Litten Path £10,000
Samuel Fisher The Chameleon £2,700
Imogen Hermes Gowar The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock £2,700
Ruqaya Izzidien The Watermelon Boys £2,700
Daisy Lafarge Paul £2,700
Rebecca Ley Sweet Fruit, Sour Land £2,700
Sophie Mackintosh The Water Cure £2,700


Betty Trask Award winners, 2020-present
Year Author Title Prize Ref.
2020 Kathryn Hind Hitch £10,000 [9]
Stacey Halls The Familiars £5,400
Isabella Hammad The Parisian £5,400
Okeychukwu Nzelu The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney £5,400
2021 Thomas McMullan The Last Good Man
Graeme Armstrong The Young Team
Maame Blue Bad Love
Kiran Millwood Hargrave The Mercies
Eley Williams The Liar’s Dictionary
Nneoma Ike-Njoku The Water House
2022 Will McPhail IN: The Graphic Novel [10]
A. K. Blakemore The Manningtree Witches
Natasha Brown Assembly
Caleb Azumah Nelson Open Water (Penguin Random House, Viking)
Megan Nolan Acts of Desperation (Jonathan Cape, Penguin Random House)
2023 Daniel Wiles Mercia’s Take
Paddy Crewe My Name is Yip
Imogen Crimp A Very Nice Girl
Maddie Mortimer Maps of our Spectacular Bodies


  1. ^ "Betty Trask". Society of Authors.
  2. ^ Betty Trask Prize and Awards Archived 9 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "The Betty Trask Prize and Awards". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  4. ^ Yates, Emma (19 June 2002). "Hari Kunzru wins Betty Trask Prize". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  5. ^ "Indian writer wins Betty Trask award for debut novel". DNA India. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  6. ^ "Authors’ Awards 2014" Archived 27 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, The Society Of Authors, 27 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Authors’ Awards 2015" Archived 29 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Society Of Authors, 25 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Previous winners of the Betty Trask Prize and Awards". Society of Authors. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Hind wins £10,000 Betty Trask Prize for 'Hitch'". Books+Publishing. 19 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  10. ^ "News | The Society of Authors". Retrieved 6 June 2022.

External links[edit]