23rd May, 2018

YWSP winners announced!

We’re delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 Young Walter Scott Prize!

We received more than triple the number of entries for this prize, and so the judges – author Elizabeth Laird, literary agent Kathryn Ross and the director of The Young Walter Scott Prize, Alan Caig Wilson – decided that the quantity and calibre of entries was such that they wanted to highlight the work of a wider number of entrants in addition to the two winners.  There were therefore four Runners-Up and three Highly Commended across the two age categories, recognising young writers from England, Wales and Scotland.

First prize in the 16-19 years category goes to Miranda Barrett from Twickenham, London for her piece of drama The New Neighbours, set in 1950s America.  Taking top prize in the 11-15 years category is Leonard Belderson from Norwich, for his story The City of World’s Desire, set in 11th Century Constantinople.

Elizabeth Laird, Chair of the judging panel, said:

‘The judges were surprised and delighted this year by the greatly increased number of entries for the Young Walter Scott Prize and by the excellent quality of the writing. There was an extraordinary diversity of subject matter, ranging from the Ottoman Empire, the Tay Bridge disaster, the destruction of Pompeii, the Suffragettes, the Battle of Culloden, the killing of the Archduke Ferdinand, the early days of car racing, the partition of India and Pakistan, among so much more.   Choosing a winner was not easy! It was a great pleasure to read the stories, and exciting to see such talent emerging. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from some of these young writers in years to come. ‘

Here is the full list of winners – congratulations to all!

First Prize – 16-19 years category

Miranda Barrett

Twickenham, London

The New Neighbours


First Prize –11-15 years category

Leonard Belderson

Jane Austen College, Norwich

The City of World’s Desire


Runners up in the older category

Maisie Kate Beckett

Gwent, South Wales

The Hidden Enemy

 Darcie Izatt

Stenhousemuir, Larbert

The Last Leaf


Runners up in the younger category

Haaris Luqman

Glasgow Academy, Glasgow

The Very Thought of You

Emma Strutt

Faversham, Kent

The First Bullet


Highly Commended

Vaneeza Butt

Egham, Surrey

The False Prophet

Krishna Gowda


Crossing the Line

Vhairi Jordan

Perth Academy, Perth

The Tay Bridge Survivor

The judges said of the two winning entries:

 The New Neighbours by Miranda Barrett:

‘A well-paced drama encapsulating – within a small neighbourhood social exchange – the issue of racism, which is as current today as it was when this play is set.’

The City of World’s Desire by Leonard Belderson:

‘Full of drama and vivid description of the opulent surroundings, this is a well structured story that reflects the author’s close attention to the historical period.’

Miranda and Leonard will be presented with their awards in June.  Watch out for our anthology, containing all the winning entries, which will be available soon!

And don’t forget, this year’s competition is now open – you can find out how to enter here.