Sarah Hall and Jean Sprackland have been named the 2012 winners of the Portico Prize for Literature, each receiving £10,000.
Hall [pictured] won the fiction prize for The Beautiful Indifference (Faber) while Sprackland's Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach (Jonathan Cape) triumphed in non-fiction. It's a second time Hall has won the prize, which is given biennially; she also won the 2010 award for How To Paint a Dead Man.
The awards were given at Manchester Town Hall last night (22nd November).
The Portico Prize for Literature is awarded to works based wholly, or largely, in the north of England. It has been running since 1985 and previous winners include Anthony Burgess for Any Old Iron (1989) and Val McDermid for The Grave Tattoo (2006).
The prize is awarded by the Portico Library, an independent Georgian library based in the heart of Manchester, and supported by Arts Council England and The Zochonis Charitable Trust.
Also shortlisted this year for the fiction award were Joan Bakewell, Tom Benn, A S Byatt, Edward Hogan, Mark Illis, Jackie Kay, Val McDermid, Jane Rogers and Joe Stretch.
Sprackland beat a non-fiction field comprising Simon Armitage, Henrietta Heald, Patricia and Robert Malcolmson, Keith Richardson, Alan Shelston, Chris Wadsworth, Bill Williams, Jeanette Winterson and Keith Wrightson.
Photo credit Andrea Bakacs.