• Borders Book Festival 2017
    2017 Walter Scott Prize winner Sebastian Barry
  • Borders Book Festival
    The Walter Scott Prize is awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Scotland
  • WSP shortlist 2017
    The Walter Scott Prize 2017 Shortlist
    'This shortlist made us all sit up and think'
    The Guardian, April 2017
  • 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
  • slide_duke_duchess
    Prize founders and sponsors, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch
  • 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

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 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 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.

The 2017 winner has been announced!  For more information and a video of the ceremony, see our News page

More about the Walter Scott Prize »

The Young Walter Scott Prize

The Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s only creative writing prize dedicated to historical fiction.  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.  Alongside the writing prize runs a series of creative writing workshops in inspirational historical venues across the UK, the Imagining History programme.

Stories can be inspired by any aspect of the past – an actual historical event, place or person, and 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.

2017 YWSP is open for entries – you can find out how to enter here, and find out more about the Imagining History workshop programme here.

Our two 2016 YWSP winners, Alice Sargent and Demelza Mason,were presented with their prizes at the Borders Book Festival over the weekend of June 17th.  Find out all about their trip here.