This Year's Shortlist

The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize (2019) official shortlist:

Torday shortlist 2019

Judged by Mark Lawson, Kate Mosse and Anita Sethi.

  • Sealskin by Su Bristow (Orenda Books)
  • Walking Wounded by Sheila Llewellyn (Sceptre)
  • Silence Under a Stone by Norma MacMaster (Doubleday Ireland)
  • The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson (Two Roads)
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Zaffre)
  • Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson (Doubleday)

“Writing is a job with no mandatory starting date…”

Commenting, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize judges said: “This inaugural shortlist vitally reminds us that writing is a job with no mandatory starting date, demonstrated through excellent historical fiction alive with time and period, magical explorations of landscape and love, a devastating story about the hidden consequences of the brutality of wars, and an exploration of the archaeology of the human heart.”

Last year's winner: Anne Youngson

Winner of Paul Torday Memorial prize 2019

The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize was awarded to Anne Youngson for her debut novel ‘Meet me at the Museum’, published by Doubleday. Anne worked for many years in senior management in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date.

“…if you have a good story to tell, it doesn’t matter how many years have passed.”

On being awarded the prize, Anne wrote these kind words to the Torday family: “I feel privileged to have been the first winner of this prize, and I wanted to say thank you for setting it up, not just for the pleasure it has given me but on behalf of generations of older writers yet to come. I have tried to live my life as if it is endless, to avoid cutting off possibilities for new experiences on the grounds that it is ‘too late’ for me to take advantage of them.

“It is not always easy to do this, as the attitude that age dictates capacity for achievement is so prevalent and quite hard to overcome. The recognition that debut novelists over 60 exist as a category worthy of its own prize will, I’m sure, be helpful to other older writers who think (as I must admit I did for a time) that they have missed their chance for a career as a published author. Your father demonstrated so beautifully that, if you have a good story to tell and the skills to tell it, it doesn’t matter at all how many years have passed since you were born. Thank you for setting this prize up in his name.”

The runner-up prize was awarded to Norma Macmaster for Silence Under a Stone, published by Doubleday Ireland.

How to enter


The 2020 prize is now open for entries. 

The deadline for entries is 30 November 2019 at 5pm (GMT).

Important Information:

    • Submissions must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019
    • Submissions must be in English and must not be a translation
    • Submissions must be the author’s first published full length fiction work, but they can have had works published of other lengths or other genres in the past
    • Applicants must be aged 60 or over at the date of first print publication of the novel and must be living at the date of submission
    • The prize does not accept books that are only available in e-format or that are self-published or where the author has contributed or paid for the costs of publishing.
    • Submissions must be made by the print publisher

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