The Betty Trask Prize and Awards

Christchurch City Libraries lists literary prize winners and links to catalogue searches, but we may not hold copies of all titles mentioned.

The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are awarded to a writer under the age of 35 for a first novel.

Betty Trask left a bequest to the Society of Authors in 1983 to fund the prize. The winners must be ‘of a romantic or traditional nature, i.e. not experimental’.

The prize is £20,000, with one author receiving a larger prize, and the remainder given to one or more other writers. The funds must be used for travel. The prize is open to published and unpublished novels.


Betty Trask Prize:
Bed David Whitehouse
Betty Trask Awards:
The danger game Kalinda Ashton
Scissors, paper, stone Elizabeth Day
My sister lives on the mantelpiece Annabel Pitcher
Hungry, the stars and everything Emma Jane Unsworth


Betty Trask Prize:
Cover: Saraswati ParkSaraswati Park Anjali Joseph
Betty Trask Awards:
Twenty-one locks Laura Barton
Rupture Simon Lelic
Luke and Jon Robert Williams


Betty Trask Prize:
Black Mamba boy Nadifa Mohamed
Betty Trask Awards:
After the fire, a still small voice Evie Wyld
A kind of intimacy Jenn Ashworth
I do not come to you by chance Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani


Betty Trask Prize:
Cover: The WildernessThe wilderness Samantha Harvey
Betty Trask Award:
The rehearsal Eleanor Catton


Betty Trask Prize:
London and the South-East David Szalay
Betty Trask Awards:
God’s own country Ross Raisin
The exchange rate between love and money Thomas Leveritt
The floating island Anna Ralph


Betty Trask Prize:
Cover: My Side of the StoryMy side of the story Will Davis
Betty Trask Awards:
The truth about these strange times Adam Foulds
The long dry Cynan Jones
You can live forever Julie Maxwell
In search of the missing eyelash Karen Mcleod


Betty Trask Prize:
Utterly monkey Nick Laird
Betty Trask Awards:
The short day dying Peter Hobbs
The killing jar Nicola Monaghan


Betty Trask Prize:
Cover: 26aEve Green Susan Fletcher
Betty Trask Awards:
26a Diana Evans
Brass Helen Walsh


Betty Trask Prize:
Becoming strangers Louise Dean
Betty Trask Awards:
The sun road Hannah MacDonald
The afterglow Anthony Cartwright
The last song of dusk Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi


Betty Trask Prize:
Cover: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable ThingsIf nobody speaks of remarkable things Jon McGregor
Betty Trask Awards:
Haweswater Sarah Hall
Gaveston Stephanie Merritt
Nightdancing Elizabeth Garner
Negative space Zoe Strachan
Politics Adam Thirlwell


Betty Trask Prize:
The impressionist Hari Kunzru
Betty Trask Awards:
The dark room Rachel Seiffert
The world unseen Shamim Sarif
My summer of love Helen Cross
Cover: A Child's Book of True CrimeA child’s book of true crime Chloe Hooper
The earthquake bird Susanna Jones
Cold water Gwendoline Riley


Betty Trask Prize:
White teeth Zadie Smith
Betty Trask Awards:
The drink and dream teahouse Justin Hill
After you’d gone Maggie O’Farrell
Take one young man Vivien Kelly
Moth smoke Mohsin Hamid
Musungu Jim and the Great Chief Tuloko Patrick Neate


Betty Trask Prize:
Cover: The HunterThe season ticket Jonathan Tulloch
Betty Trask Awards:
The hunter Julia Leigh
Sunset over Chocolate Mountains Susan Elderkin
By the shore Galaxy Craze
The requiem shark Nicholas Griffin


Betty Trask Prize:
Three dollars Elliot Perlman
Betty Trask Awards:
Cover: In A Fishbone ChurchIn a fishbone church Catherine Chidgey
The last King of Scotland Giles Foden
Olympia Dennis Bock
In beautiful disguises Rajeev Balasubramanyam
Tipping the velvet Sarah Waters


Betty Trask Prize:
Hullabaloo in the guava orchard Kiran Desai
Betty Trask Awards:
Zigzag Street Nick Earls
Eclipse of the sun Phil Whitaker
The cure for death by lightning Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Underground Tobias Hill


Betty Trask Prize:
Cover: The BeachThe beach Alex Garland
Betty Trask Awards:
Poker face Josie Barnard
Beach boy Ardashir Vakil
Some kind of black Diran Adebayo
Theory of mind Sanjida O’ Connell


Betty Trask Prize:
The debt to pleasure John Lanchester
Betty Trask Awards:
Anita and me Meera Syal
The testimony of Taliesin Jones Rhidian Brook
The luxury of exile Louis Caron Buss


Betty Trask Prize:
Dependence day Robert Newman
Betty Trask Awards:
The smell of apples Mark Behr
Midnight feast Martina Evans
A speck of coaldust Robit Manchanda Unpublished
Hallelujah Jordan Juliet Thomas Unpublished
The latecomer Philippa Walshe Unpublished
The tennis party Madeline Wickham Unpublished


Betty Trask Prize:
Divorcing Jack Colin Bateman
Betty Trask Awards:
Season of the rainbirds Nadeem Aslam
After the hole Guy Burt
The game Frances Lairdet
Some hope Jonathan Rix


Betty Trask Prize:
You’ll never be here again Mark Blackaby
Betty Trask Awards:
Pig Andrew Cowan
Tommy was here Simon Corrigan
Mothers and other lovers Joanna Briscoe
Landing on clouds Olivia Fane


Betty Trask Prize:
The dreamstone Liane Jones
Betty Trask Awards:
Kissing through a pane of glass Peter M. Rosenberg
Under the frog Tibor Fisher
The last of his line Eugene Mullen Unpublished
Never mind Edward St. Aubyn


Betty Trask Prize:
A strange and sublime address Amit Chaudhuri
Betty Trask Awards:
Teaching Little Fang Mark Swallow
Quite contrary Suzannah Dunn
Honour thy father Lesley Glaister
Lives of the Saints Nino Ricci
The great English nude Simon Mason


Betty Trask Prize:
Wilson Ripley Bogle Robert McLiam
Betty Trask Awards:
The wild hunt Elizabeth Chadwick
No strange land Rosemary Cohen Unpublished
The vision of Elena Silves Nicholas Shakespeare


Betty Trask Prize:
The life game Nigel Watts
Betty Trask Awards:
Watercolour sky William Rivière
Harry’s last wedding Paul Houghton
Uncle Henry’s last stand Alasdair McKee


Betty Trask Prize:
The general interruptor Alex Martin
A case of knives Candia McWilliam
Betty Trask Awards:
Behind the waterfall Georgina Andrewes
Left of north James Friel
Burning your own Glenn Patterson
Small tales of a town Susan Webster


Betty Trask Prize:
Return journey Helen Flint
The levels Peter Benson
Betty Trask Awards:
Hard luck James Maw
Lost time Catherine Arnold
Gestures H. S. Bhabra
The pink stallion Lucy Pinney


Betty Trask Prize:
Tongues of flame Tim Parks
Betty Trask Awards:
Family, myths and legends Patricia Ferguson
Mzungu’s wife Philippa Blake
Whore banquets Matthew Kneale
The road to Dilmun J. F. McLaughlin Unpublished
The prodigal father Kate Saunders


Betty Trask Prize:
Legacy Susan Kay
Betty Trask Awards:
A season of peace Gary Armitage
A very private enterprise Elizabeth Ironside
Instead of Eden Alice Mitchell Unpublished
The standing hills Caroline Stickland
The Earth abides forever George Schweiz Unpublished


Betty Trask Prize:
Winter journey Ronald Frame
Betty Trask Awards:
Cold showers Clare Nonhebel
A parish of rich women James Buchan
Playing fields in winter Helen Harris
The disinherited Gareth Jones
The devil’s looking glass Simon Rees