‘Our wonderful shortlist celebrates the depth and breadth of literature today, reflecting a striking diversity of styles, interests, genres and backgrounds. True, only one of these authors will win the prize in the end, but each of the five shortlisted books has already won our hearts, and we are confident that they will similarly win the hearts of readers worldwide.’
‘These authors are young, but they are already accomplished writers with strong and distinctive voices and impressive literary talents. Each of the five shortlisted books is a treat to read, buzzing with invention and intellectual energy. It’s great that we can help them find a public.’
‘The fact that the judges decided to nominate five instead of the usual four authors speaks volumes about the strength of this year’s shortlist – diverse, adventurous, immensely mature and confident. The fact, too, that the voices we’ve picked come from such a range of backgrounds is a true endorsement of the confident, outward-looking nature of young British and Irish literature at the moment. We’re going to have a very difficult task on our hands choosing a winner from such an exceptional shortlist.’
“After the outstanding shortlist we came up with in 2015 for the relaunched Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, I was, frankly, nervous about matching it this year. But I needn’t have worried. This is a sensationally strong list of books and writers, all of whom have a real future in literature, and any of whom as winner would stand comparison with the prize’s extraordinary list of past recipients.”
“These four authors have different voices, and they’re all original and powerful. No one could read this shortlist – whether one of the novels, the poems or the short stories – without feeling the presence of that talent. It springs from the pages. When you close the books you know you’re going to pick them up again and you also know, with certainty, that these writers are going to weave a lot of magic in years to come.”
“From a strong long-list we have chosen four books, each with a distinctive and original voice. These books are not only complete and new in themselves; they also show potential for the development of the writer and the genre. That’s a privilege and a thrill.”
For the first time, 2016’s award was chronicled by an official shadow judging panel made up of some of the country’s leading book bloggers: Eric Karl Andersen (lonesomereader.com), Kim Forrester (readingmattersblog.com), Naomi Frisby (thewritesofwoman.wordpress.com), Charlie Place (wormhole.carnelianvalley.com), and Simon Savidge (savidgereads.wordpress.com).
The 2016 Shadow Panel read and discussed the four books shortlisted by the Judges – and Dan Dalton, Books Editor at Buzzfeed, chaired the Shadow Panel.
“So many things about the award in its new incarnation are better than I could possibly have hoped for: the huge response by publishers and writers to the initial call-in; the immense support provided by Peters Fraser & Dunlop; the enthusiastic way in which the prize has been received; and the sheer quality of this shortlist, which is better than any previous shortlist I can remember for the award.”
“This is a wonderful line-up of books from four extremely talented writers. I think what’s particularly thrilling is the range of work on display here, as well as its quality. Each of these books confronts the complexities of life, but each has its own distinct style, its own energy. Collectively, they offer a very exciting snapshot of the literary scene.”
“The diversity of genres – poetry, historical thriller, novel and linked short stories – speaks volumes for the adventurous nature of much modern writing, and the variety of themes and approaches is immensely impressive. There is such quality here, and it’s a shortlist to be proud of.”
Follow us on twitter. The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, in association with the University of Warwick is a prize of £5,000 for a writer under 35.