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.

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. Lisa Appignanesi, RSL Chair.

The 2020 Encore Award

We are now open for entries for the 30th year of the £10,000 Encore Award for best second novel of the year. Novels published for the first time in the UK within the calendar year 2019 and written by authors resident in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland for the past three years  are eligible. Books may be entered by publishers or authors based in the UK or RoI.

Please download The Encore Award Entry Form for full guidelines. When submitting, please also provide a completed RSL Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form for the author.

The closing date for entries is Friday 31 January 2020.


The 2019 Encore Award

The winner of the 2019 Encore Award was Sally Rooney with Normal People (Faber & Faber). Read the press release for more information.

For questions about awards and prizes, please contact Martha Stenhouse, General Manager, 020 7845 4679.

Press enquiries should be sent to Annette Brook, Communications Manager,, 020 7845 4680.


Past Awards
*Joint winners

2019Sally Rooney Normal People
2018*Andrew Michael Hurley
Lisa McInerney
Devil’s Day
The Blood Miracles
2017Ian McGuireThe North Water
2015Sunjeev SahotaThe Year of the Runaways
2014Neel MukherjeeThe Lives of Others
2013Evie WyldAll the Birds, Singing
2012Ned BeaumanThe Teleportation Accident
2011Joe DunthorneWild Abandon
2010Adam FouldsThe Quickening Maze
2009Julia LeighDisquiet
2007M.J. HylandCarry Me Down
2005Nadeem AslamMaps for Lost Lovers
2004Michelle de KretserThe Hamilton Case
2003Jeremy GavronThe Book of Israel
2002Ali SmithHotel World
2001Anne EnrightWhat Are You Like?
2000*John Burnside
Claire Messud
Matt Thorne
Phil Whitaker
The Mercy Boys
The Last Life
Eight Minutes Idle
1999Christina KoningUndiscovered Country
1998*Alan Warner
Timothy O’Grady
These Demented Lands
I could Read the Sky
1997David FlusfederLike Plastic
1996A.L. KennedySo I Am Glad
1995Dermot HealyA Goat’s Song
1994Amit ChaudhuriAfternoon Raag
1993Colm TóibínThe Heather Blazing
1992Iain SinclairDownriver
1991Carey HarrisonRichard’s Feet
1990*Paul Watkins
Peter Benson
Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn
A Lesser Dependency