The Royal Society of Literature

RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction

For nearly 200 years, the Royal Society of Literature has celebrated and nurtured all that is best in British literature, past and present. The RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction are for writers who have received their first publishing contract and whose writing and research period is underway. They offer a financial injection at a crucial time for three writers; one receiving £10,000 and two receiving £5,000. They also allow the writers to fulfil their projects to the highest possible ambition undertaking additional research, travel or simply allowing for the time to write. Supporting the critical research phase for first works of non-fiction

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The writers selected in 2015 were: Thomas Morris (£10,000) for The Matter of the Heart (Bodley Head, May 2017); Catherine Nixey (£5,000) for The Darkening Age (Macmillan, early 2017); and Duncan White (£5,000) for Cold Warriors: Waging Literary War Accross the Iron Curtain. They were selected by Jonathan Beckman, Jonathan Keates and Kate Summerscale.

The 2014 winners with books to be published in 2015/16 were: Laurence Scott  (£10,000)  for The Four-Dimensional Human (Heinemann, summer 2015); Minocher Dinshaw (£5,000) for A Life of Sir Steven Runciman (Penguin, spring 2016) and Aida Edemariam (£5,000) for an as yet untitled biography of the author’s grandmother (Fourth Estate, Spring 2016). The selection was made by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Andrew O’Hagan and Jane Ridley.

Past winners of The RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction include: John Stubbs for Donne – The Reformed Soul; Rachel Campbell-Johnston for The Life and Work of Samuel Palmer; Matthew Hollis for Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas, and Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts for Edgelands – Journeys into England’s Last Wilderness.

Details of the 2016 awards’ submission process can be found on the Royal Society of Literature’s website, along with a complete list of previous years’ award winners.

RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction, awardees and judges. Image: Michael Jershov