RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction
In 2017, the RSL established these annual Awards for first-time writers of non-fiction through a generous bequest from author and RSL Fellow Giles St Aubyn. Giles St Aubyn, who died in 2015 aged 89, wrote 14 non-fiction books and taught history for nearly 40 years at Eton College. A nephew of Vita Sackville-West, he counted John Betjeman, John le Carré and The Queen Mother among his friends. Read the press release announcing the Awards.
The 2021 Awards
We are now taking entries for the 2021 Awards. Three Awards one of £10,000, one of £5,000 and one of £2,500 will be presented to provide financial support for talented new writers to complete their first book of non-fiction, especially by buying them time for writing or research. Writers may submit themselves or their publishers or agents may submit on their behalf. The writer must be resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Full eligibility and guidelines can be found here.
This year’s judges are Gwen Adshead, Clive Myrie and Fiona St Aubyn.
The deadline is 5pm on Friday 17 September.
For questions about any of our awards and prizes, please contact Martha Stenhouse, General Manager, [email protected].
The 2020 Awards
We are delighted to announce the winners of the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for first commissioned works of non-fiction:
- £10,000 –Doreen Cunningham – Soundings: A Journey with Whales (Virago, 2022)
- £5,000 – Alice Sherwood – The Authenticity Playbook (Harper Collins, 2022)
- £2,500 – Danny Lavelle – Down and Out: A Journey Through Homelessness (Wildfire, 2022)
This year’s Awards were judged by Damian Le Bas, Ramita Navai and Fiona St Aubyn.
We have commissioned three animated films to celebrate the 2020 winners. You can watch them on our YouTube Channel.
Read the press release for more information.
The 2019 Awards
- £10,000 – Harry Davies – Operation Information (The Bodley Head, 2021)
- £5,000 – Olive Heffernan – The High Seas: The Race to Save the Earth’s Last Wilderness (Profile Books, 2021)
- Judges’ Special Commendation – Rebecca Fogg – Beautiful Trauma (Granta, 2022)
The 2019 judges were Fiona St Aubyn (Chair), Rachel Hewitt and Kenan Malik. Read the 2019 press release .
The 2018 Awards
- £10,000 – Laurence Blair – Lost Countries of South America: Travels in a Continent’s Past and Present (The Bodley Head, 2020)
- £5,000 – Lily Le Brun – Looking to Sea: Britain Through the Eyes of its Artists (Hodder and Stoughton, 2020)
- Judges’ Special Commendation – Paul Craddock – Dragon in a Suitcase: A Cultural History of the Art of Transplant (Fig Tree, 2020)
The 2018 judges were: Iain Sinclair (Chair), Laura Bates, Aida Edemariam and Fiona St Aubyn. Read the 2018 press release .
The 2017 Awards
- £10,000 – David Farrier – Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils (4th Estate, 2019)
- £5,000 – Lisa Woollett –Scavenging (John Murray, 2019)
- Judges’ Special Commendation – Joanna Jolly – Red River Girl: The Life and Death of Tina Fontaine (Virago, 2019).
The 2017 judges were Richard Holmes (Chair), Afua Hirsch and Fiona St Aubyn. Read the 2017 press release.