Third Paul Torday Prize shortlist revealed

The Society of Authors announces today the shortlist for the third Paul Torday Memorial Prize, including 76 year old debut novelist Elfan Jones. Now in its third year, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize will be awarded to a first novel by a writer over 60. The prize includes a set of the collected works of British writer Paul Torday, who published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the age of 60.

Judged by Paul Bailey, Roopa Farooki and Anne Youngson.

Huge congratulations to the shortlisted books and authors:

All the Water in the World by Karen Raney (John Murray, Two Roads)

Dirt Clean by Judith Amanthis (Victorina Press)

In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O’Shaughnessy (Scribe UK)

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Elfan Jones (Unbound)

The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood (Quercus)

Anne Youngson, Paul Torday Memorial Prize judge and inaugural winner of the Prize in 2019, says: ‘The five shortlisted novels demonstrated ambition, and significant literary skill in the way the writers realised that ambition. There were no commonalities of theme, and though two were in the crime fiction genre, they interpreted that genre in different ways. It was refreshing, but perhaps not surprising, to find that novelists coming to the form later in life understand what it is they want to achieve. None of these novels could be accused of following a trend or aiming for a particular niche. There is a confidence in the purpose and execution of all five books.’

Past winners were Anne Youngson for Meet Me at the Museum (2019) and Donald S Murray for As the Women Lay Dreaming (2020).

Total prize fund: £1,000.

The winners will be announced online on Wednesday 9 June 2021, in an online ceremony presented by novelist Joanne Harris, sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS).