• Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival 2018
    Benjamin Myers, winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize
  • 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
  • Judging panel for the 2018 Shortlist for Sir Walter Scott Book Prize
    The 2018 Walter Scott Prize Shortlist
  • 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

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 will be closing for entries soon – find out more here.

See our video of  The 2018 Prize winner Benjamin Myers:

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.

The 2018 YWSP closed for entries on the 31st October 2018.  We’ll be announcing the winners at the end of February – watch this space for news! To find out more about last year’s prize, click here.







  • Resources for Book Groups

    Find out more about our 2018 shortlisted books for discussion in your Book Group

  • 2019 Walter Scott Prize closing soon

    The 2019 Prize, for books published during 2018, will close for entries on 31st January 2019.  Find out how publishers can enter here.

  • The 2018 winner is announced

    Benjamin Myers was announced as the ninth winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland in June 2018.  Read all about it here!

  • Listen to Sebastian Barry's speech

    Prize alumnus and Laureate for Irish Fiction, Sebastian Barry, was invited to say ‘a few words’ at the 2018 Walter Scott Prize.  You can hear his enchanting, lyrical speech here and read a transcript.