The 2009 prize winners were announced on Thursday 18th June at the Society of Authors Literary Awards Reception. Sebastian Faulks presented over £65,000 in prize money to twenty-two writers during a reception at the Cavalry and Guards Club, London. Dame Margaret Drabble, Chair of the Society of Authors, introduced the evening.
United Agents figure widely in this year’s awards – six of the award winners are clients of the agency – and Alice Oswald (Cholmondeley), Samantha Harvey (Trask Prize) and Adam Foulds (Somerset Maugham) are all represented by Anna Webber.
The eight awards presented range from those writers at the beginning of their careers, like the Eric Gregory Awards for poets under 30, to the Cholmondeley awards for esteemed poets, judged this year by a panel including the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
This year’s Betty Trask Prize and Award for first novels (£20,000) went to Samantha Harvey for The Wilderness (£12,000), and Eleanor Catton for The Rehearsal (£8,000).
The Somerset Maugham Awards feature three repeat winners: Adam Foulds, painter and writer Thomas Leveritt and Helen Walsh have all previously won Trask Awards. Another of the Somerset Maugham Awards went to Henry Hitchings, the Evening Standard’s theatre critic.
Lady Antonia Fraser presented Mark Bostridge with the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography (£5,000), and among this year’s other winners were Paul Farley and Eva Hoffman who have each been awarded a Travelling Scholarship.
View full list of 2009 prize winners