Irish author Danielle McLaughlin has been awarded a $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize, alongside seven other writers honoured for their literary achievements.
McLaughlin, whose debut story collection Dinosaurs on Other Planets was published by John Murray in 2015, said: “I am thrilled and astounded to be awarded this extremely generous prize. As a writer in the early stages of my career, the Windham-Campbell Prize is hugely important to me, both in terms of the financial freedom it provides, and its recognition of my work. It’s always a joy to learn that my stories have resonated with someone!”
Canadian author David Chariandy (published by Bloomsbury in the UK) also took home a prize in fiction. In non-fiction, Indian writer Raghu Karnad (published in the UK by HarperCollins) and US author Rebecca Solnit (published in the UK by Granta) were named winners. Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson (published in the UK by Faber) and Ghanian-born Kwame Dawes (published in the UK by by indie Peepal Tree Press) won the poetry awards. American playwright Young Jean Lee and Australian playwright Patricia Cornelius scooped the drama prizes.
The winners were announced live in London during an event at Stationers’ Hall hosted by writer and playwright Damien Barr.
“Even though we are based at Yale, this is an international prize, and we wanted to celebrate this year’s announcement in the heart of one of the world’s great multicultural and literary cities,” Michael Kelleher, director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes, said of the decision to announce the prize recipients from London.
The prizes will be awarded in September during an annual international literary festival at Yale celebrating the honoured writers and introducing them to new audiences.
The Windham-Campbell Prizes were established in 2013 through a gift from novelist and memoirist Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell, to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers working in English with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.
Prize recipients are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously. The Windham-Campbell Prizes are administered by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which houses the Windham and Campbell papers.
Since the prize’s inception, 59 writers representing 16 countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America have won the prize.