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The 2017 Young Writer Of The Year Award

It’s become one of the highlights of the year: earlier this week, the shortlist for the Young Writer of the Year Award (The Sunday Times/Peters Dunlop Fraser) was announced. This time they’ve chosen 5 titles rather than 4:

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I read The Lauras last year and am very happy to see it on the list. Taylor was previously in the running for 2015’s award for The Shore and whilst it would be impossible to argue about the winner that year (Sarah Howe for Loop Of Jade) Taylor’s book was of a very high standard. Her latest is even better, a phenomenal book, and I hope it does well.

This year’s judges are Sunday Times Literary Editor Andrew Holgate, and writers Elif Shafak and Lucy Hughes-Hallett. Shafak said:

“Our wonderful shortlist celebrates the depth and breadth of literature today, reflecting a striking diversity of styles, interests, genres and backgrounds. True, only one of these authors will win the prize in the end, but each of the five shortlisted books has already won our hearts, and we are confident that they will similarly win the hearts of readers worldwide.”

And this year’s shadow panel? Annabel Gaskell (Annabookbel), Dane Cobain (Social Bookshelves), Eleanor Franzen (Elle Thinks), Rebecca Foster (Bookish Beck), and Clare Rowland (A Little Blog Of Books). Congratulations to them all; it is an awesome job to have.

There can only be one question: have you read any of the shortlisted books?


Tracy Terry

November 3, 2017, 5:04 pm

I can’t say I have read any of these books but then i have a sort of aversion to reading any books that are prize winning/nominated/short listed as all too often there is lots of hype surrounding them and I end up disappointed.

Andrew Blackman

November 6, 2017, 9:03 pm

I haven’t read any either. Like Tracy, I’m a bit wary of prize shortlists because of the hype, but on the other hand I like discovering talented young writers, so I usually end up giving them a try :)


November 10, 2017, 1:32 pm

Tracy: That’s understandable. I remember reading The Tiger’s Wife a couple of years ago and enjoying it, but the others I’d read on the shortlist (Bailey’s, back then Orange) were decidedly better.

Andrew: It’s true. I wonder if we could ever lower the hype at all but keep the prizes… probably not. The only other of this list I’ve heard about is Sally Rooney, but she is apparently rather good.



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