• WalterScottPrize shortlist 2016
    The 2016 shortlist
  • trophy at bowhill
  • slide_duke_duchess
  • Borders Book Festival
  • 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 theWalter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction


The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

Scott portrait cropped

Sir Walter Scott from a portrait by Raeburn

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 £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, innovation and longevity of writing in the English language, and is open to books first 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 2010, 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.

More about the Walter Scott Prize »

The Young Walter Scott Prize

The Young Walter Scott Prize is a new creative fiction writing competition that seeks to connect young people to their world by asking them to investigate their history, their environment and the stories of people. It is named for Sir Walter Scott, who as a young man discovered his inspiration among the hills, people and stories of the Scottish Borders.

The Prize is the idea of the Duchess of Buccleuch, joint patron of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.  Her vision for the YWSP is to encourage young people to investigate their own history and become the storytellers of the future, by offering them the opportunity to become part of the Walter Scott Prize network.

The 2016 YWSP is now open for entries!  You can find out more about the YWSP and how to enter, here:

More about the Young Walter Scott Prize »

The YWSP is running an inspirational series of Imagining History workshops this summer, which offer support and inspiration to young writers through a programme of specially devised activities, led by published writers and arts educators, with exclusive access to inspiring places of special historical interest.  You can find out more about the workshops here:  http://www.walterscottprize.co.uk/young-walter-scott-prize/inspirations/



  • The 2016 shortlist is announced!


    The shortlist for the 2016 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced! William Boyd, Patrick Gale, Gavin McCrea, Allan Massie, Simon Mawer and Lucy Treloar have made it onto the shortlist.

    The Judges said: “The six books we have chosen are certainly evocative – transporting us from the Great Northern prairies to the South Australian coast, via a wide sweep across pre-war and post-war Europe – but they also tell great stories, and bring periods of history alive, much as Walter Scott did in his time.”

    Find out more here:

  • Two new judges join the WSP panel

    We’re delighted to announce that two new judges have joined the panel for the 2016 Walter Scott Prize. Poet and writer Jackie Kay and broadcaster James Naughtie join Alistair Moffat, Elizabeth Buccleuch, Elizabeth Laird and Kirsty Wark on the esteemed panel to choose this year’s shortlist and winner.  See more here

    James Naughtie

  • 2016 Longlist announced!

    The longlist for the 2016 Walter Scott Prize has been announced!  Thirteen books are in contention – you can read the full list here.

  • The Walter Scott Prize 2015 closes and judging begins!

    The Christmas closing date has been and gone, and the Walter Scott Prize offices is be-boxed with books. The Prize is now closed, and the readers and judges are assessing the wealth of historical fiction received this year, ready to announce a longlist in February. Watch this space for news of the longlist announcement.