CAB - 7 Oct 2020 - 10 Oct 2020 - Advice

Arts / Writers win Society of Authors awards

Roseanne Watt and Donald S Murray.

TWO isles authors have won prizes in this year’s Society of Authors Awards.

Roseanne Watt, who now lives in Edinburgh, picked up the Eric Gregory and Somerset Maugham awards for her poetry collection Moder Dy.

Donald S Murray, originally from Lewis but now residing in Shetland, won the Paul Torday Memorial Prize for his novel As the Women Lay Dreaming.

One of the judges Nadifa Mohamed said about Moder Dy: “A beautiful collection of poetry that transports through time and space, it is full of sea spray and melancholy.

“The dual language poems speak powerfully of home, folklore and the lost past.”

Sarah Waters, Paul Torday memorial prize judge, meanwhile said about As the Women Lay Dreaming:

“Just a few pages into As the Women Lay it’s a book that’s big with beauty, poetry and heart.

“A wonderful achievement, a brilliant blend of fact and fiction, full of memorable images and singing lines of prose.”

Watt and Murray were among 32 winners announced today (Tuesday), with nine awards being picked up.

The awards – which are judged by authors – have a shared prize fund of £100,000, making it the UK’s biggest.

Watt has been awarded a total of £9,670, while Murray’s award came with a prize of £1,000.

Society of Authors’ chair Joanne Harris said: “We’ve always said that receiving an SoA Award can be transformational for an author. They aren’t about promoting big corporate sponsors.

“They don’t seek out one big winner and say ‘this one’s best of all’. Each year, they reward the breadth and depth of books and words, and reward authors at the start of their careers as well as those well established.

“This year, as the health crisis makes authors’ precarious careers even more of a challenge to sustain, it is more important than ever to celebrate the work of today’s 32 winners.”