Sunjeev Sahota shortlisted for The 2015 Sunday Times Young Writer

9th November 2015

Sunjeev Sahota has been selected as one of four authors who have made the shortlist for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.

The prize is 25 years old but was re-launched in May to include self-published writers for the first time.

Sahota has been nominated for his second novel, the Man Booker-shortlisted The Year of the Runaways (Picador), a timely take on the British immigrant experience.

The award recognises the best literary work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by a British or Irish writer of 35 and under, with £5,000 given as the prize.

Judges for this year’s award are author Sarah Waters; The Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate and chief fiction reviewer Peter Kemp.

Commenting on the short-list, Waters, also a previous winner, said: “This is a wonderful line-up of books from four extremely talented writers. I think what’s particularly thrilling is the range of work on display here, as well as its quality. Each of these books confronts the complexities of life, but each has its own distinct style, its own energy. Collectively, they offer a very exciting snapshot of the literary scene.”

Holgate added that the response from publishers and writers this year had been “huge” and the quality of the short-list “better than any previous shortlist” he could remember.

He said: “So many things about the award in its new incarnation are better than I could possibly have hoped for: the huge response by publishers and writers to the initial call-in; the immense support provided by Peters Fraser & Dunlop; the enthusiastic way in which the prize has been received; and the sheer quality of this short-list, which is better than any previous short-list I can remember for the award. The diversity of genres - poetry, historical thriller, novel and linked short stories - speaks volumes for the adventurous nature of much modern writing, and the variety of themes and approaches is immensely impressive. There is such quality here, and it’s a short-list to be proud of.”

The prize was suspended in 2008, but Holgate told The Bookseller in May that he had long wanted to resurrect it. “There was some trimming going on back then [because of the recession] so we suspended it, but ever since I’ve always wanted to re-start it,” he said.

The winner of The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2015 will be revealed on Thursday 10th December.

Related Books

The Year of the Runaways

The Year of the Runaways

Picador, 2015