From meditations on the d/Deaf experience to short stories blurring the mythic and the gothic with the everyday, from mixing the personal and political to a young woman uncover the truth about her family’s past – four outstanding writers have today been named on the shortlist for The Sunday Times/ University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award:
• The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus (Penned in the Margins)
• Salt Slow by Julia Armfield (Picador)
• Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler (Fleet)
• Testament by Kim Sherwood (riverrun)
The judges have chosen two novels, a poetry and a short story collection; written by three women and one man – to be in the running for the prize, which rewards the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged between 18 and 35. Publishers submitted over 100 books this year – prompting The Sunday Times Literary Editor Andrew Holgate, Chair, to sign up two further judges: the writer, editor and bookseller Nick Rennison and the University of Warwick’s Gonzalo C. Garcia have joined the award-winning poet and writer Kate Clanchy and the best-selling author Victoria Hislop.
The four writers on the shortlist are in the running to become the 20th winner of the award, which has consistently picked future greats at the beginning of their careers, from Robert Macfarlane to Zadie Smith, from Sarah Waters to Sally Rooney. Last year, Adam Weymouth was awarded for his debut novel Kings of the Yukon.
For the first time this year, the winner of the award will be given a year ’s membership of The London Library, further adding to an attractive winner package that already includes a bespoke 10- week residency at the University of Warwick, in addition to the prize money of £5,000.
The 2019 winner will be revealed with a ceremony at the London Library on 5 December.