RSL Encore Award
The £10,000 Encore Award for the best second novel of the year was first awarded in 1990 and is sponsored by Lucy Astor. The award fills a niche in the catalogue of literary prizes by celebrating the achievement of outstanding second novels. The RSL has administrated of the award since 2016.
Literary lore as well as practice tells us that second novels are ever the most daunting. They even have a syndrome named after them. That’s why I’ve always been particularly fond of the Encore Award, the brilliant prize that acknowledges the difficulties of the second novel. I’m thrilled that the RSL will now be a partner in its running. Lisa Appignanesi, RSL Chair.
I am delighted by this affiliation between the Encore Award and the RSL. It will undoubtedly raise the profile of the prize but, more importantly, of its winners. Lucy Astor, founder and sponsor of the Encore Award.
The 2018 Award
We are now closed for submissions. The winner will be announced in spring 2018.
The judges for 2018 are the literary journalist Alex Clark (Chair), poet and children’s writer Julia Copus, and Ted Hodgkinson, Senior Programmer for Literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre.
The 2017 Award
The winner of the RSL Encore Award 2017 is Ian McGuire for The North Water (Scribner). Please download the press release for more information.
Other books on the shortlist: Jenni Fagan The Sunlight Pilgrims (William Heinemann), Paul Kingsnorth Beast (Faber & Faber), Eimear McBride The Lesser Bohemians (Faber & Faber), Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail), Sara Taylor The Lauras (William Heinemann) Shortlist press release.
Comment from the 2017 judges:
We are absolutely delighted with this year’s shortlist, which is filled with bold, imaginative and hugely enjoyable writing. We were nonetheless disappointed to receive so few submissions from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers, especially as many writers of colour have featured in the award’s shortlists and roster of winners in previous years. As a prize for a second novel, submissions are necessarily limited, and it may be that this is simply a blip; we very much hope so, and urge publishers simply to take note of our concerns.
Comment from the Royal Society of Literature:
In our first year running the RSL Encore Award, we, too, are delighted with the brilliant shortlist. For future years, we will do all we can to encourage diversity of entries.
|2017||Ian McGuire||The North Water|
|2015||Sunjeev Sahota||The Year of the Runaways|
|2014||Neel Mukherjee||The Lives of Others|
|2013||Evie Wyld||All the Birds, Singing|
|2012||Ned Beauman||The Teleportation Accident|
|2011||Joe Dunthorne||Wild Abandon|
|2010||Adam Foulds||The Quickening Maze|
|2007||M.J. Hyland||Carry Me Down|
|2005||Nadeem Aslam||Maps for Lost Lovers|
|2004||Michelle de Kretser||The Hamilton Case|
|2003||Jeremy Gavron||The Book of Israel|
|2002||Ali Smith||Hotel World|
|2001||Anne Enright||What Are You Like?|
|2000||Claire Messud||The Last Life|
|1999||Christina Koning||Undiscovered Country|
|These Demented Lands|
I could Read the Sky
|1997||David Flusfeder||Like Plastic|
|1996||A.L. Kennedy||So I Am Glad|
|1995||Dermot Healy||A Goat’s Song|
|1994||Amit Chaudhuri||Afternoon Raag|
|1993||Colm Tóibín||The Heather Blazing|
|1991||Carey Harrison||Richard’s Feet|
|Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn|
A Lesser Dependency