The Prize’s founder and sponsor the Duke of Buccleuch launched the Walter Scott Prize Academy in December 2016.

Designed to broaden the global reach and strengthen the resources of the Prize, the Academy is an advisory group feeding into the submission process, comprising people at the centre of literary life in the UK and in Commonwealth countries around the world, whose positions and knowledge give them a unique standpoint to help the Prize find its winners.

The Walter Scott Prize Academy members

Jemma Birrell, current Artistic Director, Sydney Writer’s Festival

James Daunt, CEO Waterstones

Roland Gulliver, Associate Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival

Philip Hensher, Writer and Critic

Jonathan Holloway, Artistic Director, Melbourne Festival

Anne O’Brien, Artistic Director, Auckland Writer’s Festival

Hal Wake, Artistic Director, Vancouver International Writer’s Festival

To co-incide with the 2017 Longlist announcement, the Prize is delighted to reveal here a further list of 20 books recommended by the Walter Scott Prize Academy.

The Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommends:

Carol Birch Orphans of the Carnival (Canongate)

Emily Bitto The Strays (Legend Press)

Jessie Burton The Muse (Picador)

Tracy Chevalier At the Edge of the Orchard (Borough Press)

Emma Donoghue The Wonder (Picador)

Susan Fletcher Let Me Tell you About a Man I Knew (Virago)

Anna Hope The Ballroom (Doubleday)

Lauri Kubuitsile The Scattering (Penguin South Africa)

Lynne Kutsukake The Translation of Love (Knopf Canada)

Eowyn Ivey To the Bright Edge of the World (Tinder Press)

Ian McGuire The North Water (Scribner)

Abir Mukherjee A Rising Man (Harvill Secker)

S.J. Parris Conspiracy (HarperCollins)

Stephen Price By Gaslight (Oneworld)

Ralph Spurrier A Coin for the Hangman (Hookline Books)

Andrew Taylor The Ashes of London (HarperCollins)

Natasha Walter A Quiet Life (Borough Press)

A.N. Wilson Resolution (Atlantic)

Alissa York The Naturalist (Random House Canada)

Louisa Young Devotion (Borough Press)