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 The prize is open to published and unpublished novels.

See the other literary prize winners we list.

2016

Betty Trask Prize:

Glass Alex Christofi

Betty Trask Awards:

Butterfly fish Irenosen Okojie
The watchmaker of Filigree Street Natasha Pulley
Weathering Lucy Wood

2015

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover of The spring of Kasper MeierThe Spring of Kasper Meier Ben Fergusson

Betty Trask Awards:

Elizabeth Is Missing Emma Healey
Eat My Heart Out Zoe Pilger
Chop Chop Simon Wroe

2014

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover of The shock of the fallThe Shock Of The Fall Nathan Filer

Betty Trask Awards:

We Need New Names NoViolet Bulawayo
Idiopathy Sam Byers
Chaplin and Company Mave Fellowes
Ostrich Matt Greene

2013

Betty Trask Prize:

The Land of Decoration Grace McCleen

Betty Trask Awards:

The Spider King's Daughter Chibundu Onuzo
The Innocents Francesca Segal
Care of Wooden Floors Will Wiles

2012

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover of BedBed 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

2011

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

2010

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover of Black mamba boyBlack 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

2009

Betty Trask Prize:

The wilderness Samantha Harvey

Betty Trask Award:

The rehearsal Eleanor Catton

2008

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

2007

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

2006

Betty Trask Prize:

Utterly monkey Nick Laird

Betty Trask Awards:

The short day dying Peter Hobbs
The killing jar Nicola Monaghan

2005

Betty Trask Prize:

Eve Green Susan Fletcher

Betty Trask Awards:

26a Diana Evans
Brass Helen Walsh

2004

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

2003

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

2002

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover of The impressionistThe impressionist Hari Kunzru

Betty Trask Awards:

The dark room Rachel Seiffert
The world unseen Shamim Sarif
My summer of love Helen Cross
A child’s book of true crime Chloe Hooper
The earthquake bird Susanna Jones
Cold water Gwendoline Riley

2001

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover of White teethWhite 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

2000

Betty Trask Prize:

The 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

1999

Betty Trask Prize:

Three dollars Elliot Perlman

Betty Trask Awards:

In 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

1998

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover of Hullabaloo in the guava orchardHullabaloo 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

1997

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

1996

Betty Trask Prize:

Cover The debt to pleasureThe 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

1995

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

1994

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

1993

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

1992

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

1991

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

1990

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

1989

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

1988

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

1987

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

1986

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

1985

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

1984

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
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