Walter Scott Prize Longlist Announced

walter scott

If, like Angela, you’re a fan of historical fiction, then you’ve probably been waiting to read the Walter Scott Prize’s 2020 longlist for some time.

Well, you don’t have to wait any longer!

The twelve books in contention for the £25,000 prize are:

About the prize

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is open to books published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.

First awarded in 2010, the prize honours Sir Walter’s position as the “father” of the historical fiction genre.

Reflecting the subtitle of Scott’s most famous work “Waverley: Tis 60 Years Since”, the majority of the entry’s storyline must have taken place at least 60 years ago.

The winner receives £25,000, and this year each shortlisted author will receive £1,500, making the Walter Scott Prize amongst the richest fiction prizes in the UK.

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is open to books published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.

Previous winners include Hilary Mantel, Andrea Levy, Sebastian Barry, Tan Twan Eng and Robert Harris.

The shortlist

A shortlist, usually of six books, will be chosen and announced at the beginning of April. The winner will be announced at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival in Scotland on 12th June.

“In its eleventh year, with more submissions than ever before, the 2020 Walter Scott Prize longlist reflects the energy and dynamism of modern historical fiction,” the judges said.

“As always with our longlist, readers will find themselves in all kinds of places in all kinds of centuries, both in the company of familiar authors and hearing newer voices. It’s a privilege to bring these books to wider attention through the prize.

“So much to savour, so much to think about and, most importantly, so much to enjoy.”

Newly appointed chair of the judging panel, Katie Grant, is looking forward to the task of picking a winner.

“It’s a great privilege to chair the Walter Scott Prize judging panel,” she said.

“A challenge, too, to steer this prize through the choppy waters of contemporary literary debate.

“Luckily, I don’t face the challenge alone. As we often remark, our judging meetings are like the best book club in the world.

“This year’s debates have already been lively. They’ll be livelier still before we announce the shortlist. Every year, there are tough calls to make!”

The judges of the 2020 Prize are Katie Grant (chair), Elizabeth Buccleuch, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, James Naughtie and Kirsty Wark.

We’re excited about choosing our next great read from this collection!

If you’re looking for your next read, click here to browse through our book reviews.

We’ve also taken a look at the Women’s Prize For Fiction longlist, here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.