• Borders Book Festival
    The Walter Scott Prize is awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Scotland
  • slide_duke_duchess
    Prize founders and sponsors, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch
  • Borders Book Festival audience
    Much the best thing that has happened for lovers of historical fiction
    is the founding of this prize"
    Hilary Mantel, 2010 winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction
  • Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival 2018
    Benjamin Myers, winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize
  • slide_glasses
    'It seems to me that the prize itself has not only boosted and bolstered the historical novel, but also has begun to redefine it'
    Sebastian Barry, winner of the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

Honouring the achievements of the founding father of the historical novel, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world.  With a total value of over £30,000, it is unique for rewarding writing of exceptional quality which is set in the past.

Sponsored by Sir Walter Scott’s distant kinsmen the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the Prize celebrates quality, and innovation of writing in the English language, and is open to books published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth. Reflecting the subtitle ‘Sixty Years Since’ of Scott’s most famous work Waverley, the majority of the storyline must have taken place at least 60 years ago.

The Prize was founded in 2009, and is awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, in June every year. The winner receives £25,000 and shortlisted authors each receive £1000.  In addition, the Walter Scott Prize Academy, made up of a panel from across the Commonwealth and UK, chooses a ‘recommended’ list of titles every year.

The 2019 Walter Scott Prize shortlist has now been announced – read all about it here.

The Young Walter Scott Prize

The Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s only creative writing prize dedicated to historical fiction.  The YWSP runs an annual story-writing competition for young people aged between 11 and 19, and a series of Imagining History workshops, in which you can learn how to write historical fiction in amazing spaces throughout the UK.

Prizes include a £500 travel grant, an invitation to one of the UK’s best book festivals, and a chance to see your own work in print.

We have now announced the winners of the 2018 Prize – go to our YWSP homepage for a full list of the fourteen winners, and to our news page for more about them and their stories.  The Prize will open for entries again in late Summer 2019 – watch this space for more news!