• Judging panel for the 2018 Shortlist for Sir Walter Scott Book Prize
    The 2018 Walter Scott Prize Shortlist
  • 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 2017
    2017 Walter Scott Prize winner Sebastian Barry
  • 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_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.  In addition, the Walter Scott Prize Academy, made up of a panel from across the Commonwealth and UK, chooses a ‘recommended’ list of twenty titles every year.

The 2018 Prize has closed for entries, and a shortlist has been announced – see The 2018 Prize 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.

The 2018 YWSP is now open for entries! Find out more here.