The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a poll to find the nation’s favourite historical novel, and is launching a set of resources for reading groups.
Founded in 2009, the award has given nearly £300,000 to winning authors over its 10 years with winners including Andrea Levy, Robert Harris, Sebastian Barry and Hilary Mantel.
Now the Prize has launched a poll to find the nation’s favourite historical novel of all time. Anyone can nominate, and novels can have been published at any time – as long as they were written in English and set at least 60 years before their first publication, following the Prize’s own rule. A shortlist of the 10 novels with the most nominations will be published on the website in early December, and the poll will then open for voting. The most popular novel will be crowned ‘The Nation’s Favourite Historical Novel’ in January 2020.
Additionally award organisers have produced a poster and special Readers’ Guides to the 10 books which have won the Prize to help book groups, libraries and individuals "discover and delve deeper into this exceptional fiction". The new resources are available to download free on the award's website.
Mantel, the inaugural winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, said: "I feel the prize has paid a great part in raising the prestige of fiction set in the past, and because it has opened the field of possibility, all writers working today have cause to be grateful."