The Encore Award
The Encore Award was first presented in 1990 to celebrate the achievement of outstanding second novels. The Award fills a niche in the catalogue of literary prizes. The RSL has administrated the award since 2016.
The 2022 Award will open for entries later in the year. If you would like to be informed of when we are taking submissions, please fill out your details here to be added to the contact list.
The Encore Award 2021
We are excited to announce that Caoilinn Hughes has won the 2021 Encore Award with The Wild Laughter (Oneworld). The annual Prize of £10,000 is awarded for best second novel of the year.
‘The judges found Caoilinn Hughes’ The Wild Laughter to be a grand feat of comic ingenuity, mischievous and insightful, and full of resonance for the way we live now. The voice of Caoilinn’s doomed narrator, Doharty ‘Hart’ Black, is so original and vibrant, with a very particular poetic vernacular. This is a story of modern Ireland, set in the crash post Celtic Tiger, but it also feels timeless in many ways, with Biblical myth simmering under the surface. The Wild Laughter is a real page-turner, in spite of its literary heart, and a joy to read. We all look forward to reading more from Caoilinn Hughes in the years to come.’
– Encore Award Judges Nikita Lalwani, Paul Muldoon and Sian Cain.
‘The trail between the first and second novel is rough terrain. But the readership a writer finds through her second novel is the more enduring readership. The Encore Award is a crucial recognition of its stakes. This Award helped to bring Irish writer heroes like Dermot Healy, Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín to the fore, not to mention Sally Rooney and Lisa McInerney more recently. UK writers I so admire like Ali Smith and A L Kennedy were also championed early on by this award. To be following this lineage is strange and glorious.’
– Caoilinn Hughes, Winner of the Encore Award 2021
Watch our announcement video here:
Other books on the 2021 shortlist
- Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
- Should We Fall Behind by Sharon Duggal (Bluemoose Books)
- The Blind Light by Stuart Evers (Picador)
- The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (One World)
For press enquiries relating to the Encore Award please contact Clair Chamberlain at Bread and Butter PR: [email protected]
For questions about awards and prizes, please contact Martha Stenhouse, General Manager, [email protected].
The Encore Award 2020
The winner of the 2020 Encore Award was Patrick McGuinness with Throw Me to the Wolves (Jonathan Cape). This was the 30th year of the Award. The judges were Edmund Gordon, Nikita Lalwani and Eley Williams.
Please read the press release for further information.
Watch the 2020 winner announcement below:
In celebration of the 30th year of the Award previous winners share their reflections on winning best second novel:
|2020||Patrick McGuinness||Throw Me to the Wolves|
|2019||Sally Rooney||Normal People|
|2018*||Andrew Michael Hurley
The Blood Miracles
|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?|
|The Mercy Boys
The Last Life
Eight Minutes Idle
|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