Walter Scott Prize

 wsp list for web

Now in its eighth year, the Walter Scott Prize has become a prestigious and distinctive star in the firmament of literary prizes.  Honouring the achievements of Sir Walter Scott, the founding father of the historical novel, the Prize rewards writing of exceptional quality with a setting of ‘Sixty Years Since’, echoing the subtitle of Scott’s most famous work, 
Waverley.  With a winner’s prize of £30,000, it rivals the biggest and best literary prizes in the UK.
The prize’s sponsors are the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, patrons of the arts and distant kinsmen of Scott. The Duke and Duchess host the Walter Scott Prize awards ceremony with a magnificent gathering and public event at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, in June.  A shortlist is announced in April.

To qualify, books must be written in English and first or simultaneously published in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth and submitted by their publisher.  Previous winners have been; Tightrope by Simon Mawer in 2016, The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling in 2015, An Officer and A Spy by Robert Harris in 2014 The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng in 2013; On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry in 2012; The Long Song by Andrea Levy in 2011; and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel in 2010.

For further information and a full set of rules please contact the prize administrator:

Rebecca Salt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction was founded in 2009, and honours the achievements and legacy of Sir Walter Scott, the founding father of the historical novel. The prize is the first book award to recognise outstanding work in this burgeoning genre.


Thursday, 23 February 2017 17:24

The Walter Scott Prize Academy recommends...

We are delighted to reveal here a list of 20 books recommended by the Walter Scott Prize Academy.
The Academy was launched last year, to help broaden the reach of the Prize and strengthen its resources. An advisory group feeding into the submission process, it comprises people at the centre of literary life in the UK and Commonwealth countries.
Thursday, 23 February 2017 16:44


The longlist for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 has been announced. The thirteen books on the longlist are:
Saturday, 18 June 2016 17:04

Simon Mawer wins 2016 Walter Scott Prize

Simon Mawer has won the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for his novel Tightrope.  Originally shortlisted for the Prize in its inaugural year, the author returned to Melrose, Scotland six years later to receive his award from the Duke of Buccleuch, at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival on Saturday 18th June.
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 20:26

WSP - Author Spotlight - Lucy Treloar

Our final shortlisted author is the Australian writer Lucy Treloar, Salt Creek is Lucy’s first novel and has been much heralded. Set in 1855 it tells the story of Stanton Finch and his large family who move to a beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong in South Australia...
Thursday, 09 June 2016 16:39

WSP Author spotlight - Simon Mawer

Simon Mawer has been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize before with The Glass Room, could 2016 be his year? His latest novel Tightrope picks up the story of Marian Sutro from The Girl Who Fell From The Sky – an SOE agent during the war, we follow Marian as she adjusts to life after war, will she indulger her longing for adventure and be pulled back into dangerous missions. Come and hear from Simon at the Walter Scott Prize Shortlist event and see who the winner will be at the award ceremony...
Thursday, 02 June 2016 05:38

WSP Author Spotlight - Allan Massie

Allan Massie is our fourth shotlisted author for The Walter Scott Prize with End Games in Bordeaux, the fourth and final insallment of the Bordeaux quartet - set in France during WW2...
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 23:10

WSP Author Spotlight - Gavin McCrea

In September 1870 a train leaves Manchester bound for London. On board is Lizzie Burns, a poor worker from the Irish slums, who is embarking on the journey that will change her forever...
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 15:09


In our second Walter Scott Prize author spotlight, we take a look at William Boyd's much lauded new novel, Sweet Caress. In his novel Boyd introduces us to Amory Clay and her enthralling story of a life fully lived, he has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of an unforgettable woman…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:37

WSP Author spotlight - Patrick Gale

Patrick Gale is doing double duty at this year’s Festival. Not only is he making a welcome return visit to the main festival, but this year, he’s one of the shortlisted authors for the Walter Scott Prize, Patrick’s latest celebrated novel, A Place Called Winter, is described as, ‘an exquisite journey of self-discovery...' follow the link to read more about the novel and Patrick and also to find out what he thinks about being nominated for the WSP.
Read more…

The shortlist for the 2016 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced by its newly appointed judging panel.  The six books are:

SWEET CARESS by William Boyd (Bloomsbury)
A PLACE CALLED WINTER by Patrick Gale (Tinder Press)
MRS ENGELS by Gavin McCrea (Scribe UK)
END GAMES IN BORDEAUX by Allan Massie (Quartet)
TIGHTROPE by Simon Mawer (Little,Brown)
SALT CREEK by Lucy Treloar (Picador Australia)

Friday, 26 February 2016 09:56

Walter Scott Prize 2016 longlist announced

The longlist for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced, with thirteen books in contention for the prize, which uniquely honours new fiction set in the past.  The longlist announcement coincides with the appointment of two new judges, Jackie Kay and James Naughtie...
John Spurling has won the sixth Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for his novel set in imperial China, The Ten Thousand Things. The author was at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in Melrose to receive his prize from the Duke of Buccleuch on Saturday 13th June.
The shortlist for the £30,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2015 has been announced, at a reception at 50 Albemarle Street, the London home of Walter Scott’s original publisher John Murray.  The much-anticipated shortlist comprises seven titles, reflecting the astonishing breadth and diversity of books entered in a bumper year for the Prize. 
The shortlist is:
THE ZONE OF INTEREST by Martin Amis (Jonathan Cape)
THE LIE by Helen Dunmore (Windmill)
VIPER WINE by Hermione Eyre (Jonathan Cape)
IN THE WOLF’S MOUTH by Adam Foulds (Jonathan Cape)
ARCTIC SUMMER by Damon Galgut (Atlantic)
A GOD IN EVERY STONE by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury)
THE TEN THOUSAND THINGS by John Spurling (Duckworth)

Thursday, 26 February 2015 16:33

Walter Scott Prize longlist announced

On February 24, the Chairman and Judges of the Walter Scott Prize announced the longlisted books for the 2015 prize...


The decision is in and we have a short-list for the 2013 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction! We have six fantastic novels in contention, with settings ranging from Tudor and Restoration England to the slums of Victorian London, and from the bloody battlefields of the Western Front in World War One to the highlands of Malaysia during the ‘Malayan Emergency’...



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