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 £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. You can watch a video of the Prize Ceremony here.
The Young Walter Scott Prize
The Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s first historical fiction writing competition for young people. It 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, also 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, and read the stories by last year’s winners here: More about the Young Walter Scott Prize »
Stories can be inspired by any aspect of the past – an actual historical event, place or person. They can be written in prose of any kind – stories, extracts from a longer work, diaries, letters or reportage. The work can be set at any time in history – as long as it is a period before its author was born, in a world recognisably different from the present. Stories should be between 800 and 2000 words long.
Having successfully run a series of inspirational Imagining History workshops this summer in East Anglia, Edinburgh and the Borders, the YWSP is currently working on the programme of workshops for late 2016 and 2017. Watch this space for more details.