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Two Nigerians Make the Society of Authors Awards 2020 Shortlist

Today, the 14th of May, 2020, the Society of Authors announced the shortlists in five awards categories: Betty Trask, McKitterick, ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Awards, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize, and the inaugural Queen’s Knickers Award. The awards fund, which is to be shared among the winners in each category, is £100,000.

The shortlist of 29 writers has been described as “wide-ranging”, as it includes Lynda Clark, winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2018 and author of Beyond Kidding; Taffy Brodesser-Akner, New York Times Magazine Staff Writer and author of Fleishman is in Trouble; Sally Gardner, Costa and Carnegie Medal-winning author of Maggot Moon; Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, Nigerian poet, biology student and activist; Okechukwu Nzelu, the British-Nigerian author of the Desmond Elliot Prize-longlisted The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney

Below is the shortlist in each category:

  • The Queen’s Knickers Award (inaugural year):
    • Umbrella written and illustrated by Elena Arevalo Melville.
    • Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Sea Dragon written by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Nick Maland.
    • How to Light Your Dragon written by Didier Lévy, illustrated by Fred Benaglia.
    • One Fox written and illustrated by Kate Read.
    • Child of St Kilda written and illustrated by Beth Waters.
  • The ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award:
    • Ghillie’s Mum by Lynda Clark.
    • High Water by Carol Farrelly.
    • The Bird That Fluttered Free by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu.
    • Whale Watching by Diana Powell.
    • Eva at the End of the World by Wendy Riley.
    • The Pier at Ardentinny by Catriona Ward.
  • Betty Trask Prize and Awards:
    • The Familiars by Stacey Halls.
    • The Parisian by Isabella Hammad.
    • Hitch by Kathryn Hind.
    • The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu.
  • McKitterick Prize:
    • Golden Child by Claire Adam.
    • Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston.
    • Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
    • The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins.
    • Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession.
    • The Travelers by Regina Porter.
  • Paul Torday Memorial Prize:
    • The Burning Land by George Alagiah.
    • Madeleine by Euan Cameron.
    • Reparation by Gaby Koppel.
    • Find Me Falling by Fiona Vigo Marshall.
    • As the Women Lay Dreaming by Donald S Murray.
    • The Stranger She Knew by Rosalind Stopps.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted writers. The winners of the Society of Authors Awards will be announced on the 18th of June, 2020. We are rooting for Ani Kayode Somtochukwu and Okechukwu Nzelu. 

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