Elif Shafak to judge next Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year

Elif Shafak to judge next Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year

Turkish novelist and political commentator Elif Shafak and cultural historian and biographer Lucy Hughes-Hallett are to join Andrew Holgate on the judging panel of The Sunday Times/Peter Frasers + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award.

Now run in association with the University of Warwick, the prize rewards the best work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish author aged between 18 and 35.

Shafak is the author of 10 novels including The Architect's Apprentice, The Bastard of Istanbul and most recently Three Daughters of Eve (all Penguin). Her work has been translated into over forty languages and she has been awarded the prestigious Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She is also a cultural commentator, a political scientist and an inspirational public speaker.

Shafak said it is an "immense pleasure" to be judging the award. "This is a very special and truly uplifting award for writers at a relatively early stage of their long literary journeys. What a joy will it be to discover, accompany and celebrate the most amazing young talents who will shape the future of world literature”, she said

Hughes-Hallett’s first novel Peculiar Gound will be published by Fourth Estate on May 18th. Her previous book, The Pike (Fourth Estate), a biography of Gabriele D'Annunzio, won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize, and the Costa Biography of the Year Award. She is also a critic and reviewer, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

“I’m looking forward to reading the work of the next generation of great British and Irish writers, and it’s exciting to be able to give them a boost early in their careers, ” Hughes-Hallett said.

Holgate has been the literary editor of The Sunday Times for eight years, and before that was the deputy literary editor for nine. He has worked in bookselling, publishing and literary journalism, and has judged many other prizes, including the Samuel Johnson Award and the Somerset Maugham.

Holgate said: "I'm so delighted that two such powerful literary voices are able to join me this year, to bring their expertise and experience to bear on the judging process, and to continue the exponential growth of the prize since its rebirth via the kind sponsorship of Peters Fraser + Dunlop, and now associate sponsorship of the University of Warwick.

"Our two most recent award winners, Sarah Howe and Max Porter, continue a line of excellence that stretches back 26 years, taking their place alongside now preeminent writers such as Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters and Simon Armitage. All this convinces me further of the prize's value in identifying and championing the best new talent, and I'm very, very excited by what 2017 will bring."

From 2017, the award is running in association with the University of Warwick, who will offer a bespoke 10-week residency for the award’s winner, a day festival of events, and a year-round programme of on-campus and digital support for award alumni and the year’s shortlist.

To be eligible for The Sunday Times Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award books must have been first published in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland, in the English language, between 2nd May 2016 and 2nd June 2017. This year, self-published authors in particular are being encouraged to apply.

Submissions close on Sunday 2nd June, 2017. The shortlist of four books will be announced on 5th November, followed by the winner on 7th December.