Max Porter on Sunday Times/ PFD Young Writer shortlist

Max Porter on Sunday Times/ PFD Young Writer shortlist

Granta editorial director Max Porter is among three debut authors shortlisted for The Sunday Times/ Peters Fraser and Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award.

Porter made the list for his "“part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief”, Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber), which won him the 10th International Dylan Thomas Prize. The project first began on snippets of receipt paper during Porter’s time as manager of the Chelsea branch of Daunt Books.

Porter is joined by fellow debut authors Jessie Greengrass and Andrew McMillan, with Benjamin Wood aso shortlisted for his second novel.

Greengrass is shortlisted for her short story collection An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It (John Murray Originals), "about those who are lonely, or estranged, or out of time", for which she won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2016.

McMillan is recognised for his "hymns to the male body" Physical (Cape Poetry). The collection of intimate poems made him the first poet to win Guardian First Book Award in November 2015, since which time he has also gone on to win the Society of Authors’ Somerset Maugham and Eric Gregory awards, plus spots on the shortlists for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Polari First Book Prize.

Wood is shortlisted for his second novel, The Ecliptic (Scribner), a story spread across two key settings: Portmantle, an isolated artists’ retreat located off the coast of Istanbul, and the 1960s London art scene. 

The prize is awarded annually to the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged between 18 and 35, and has an illustrious list of past winners, including last year’s, Sarah Howe. The winner will receive a cheque from PFD for £5,000, with £500 given to each of the three runners-up.

Judges for the prize, joining Andrew Holgate, the literary editor of The Sunday Times, were broadcaster and BBC News books editor James Naughtie, and historian and novelist Stella Tillyard.

For the first time, this year’s award will also be chronicled by an "official shadow judging panel" made up of book bloggers: Eric Karl Andersen (, Kim Forrester (, Naomi Frisby (, Charlie Place (, and Simon Savidge (

The winner will be announced at a ceremony, hosted by Veuve Clicquot at the London Library on 8th December.