RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction

The Royal Society of Literature and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation offer three annual awards, one of £10,000 and two of £5,000, to authors engaged on their first major commissioned works of non-fiction.

"The RSL Jerwood Award was absolutely invaluable to me. Crucially it allowed me to spend more time on interviews and research, which was transformative for my book. It also enabled me to work on the book full-time, without being anxious about paying the bills . On another level, getting the stamp of approval from the panel - three judges who I immensely respect - was an important and vital morale boost."

- Ramita Navai

RSL Jerwood Award winner, 2012

The 2014 Awards

We are delighted to announce that the 2014 judges are Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Andrew O’Hagan and Jane Ridley. The application form can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. Applications must be submitted by Monday 8 September 2014 and addressed to Paula Johnson, RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction, Royal Society of Literature, Somerset House, London WC2R 1LA. We will be accepting entries from Monday 30 June.

Past Recipients

2012 Ramita Navai (£10k) City of Lies 
Edmund Gordon
(£5k) for Angela Carter -The Biography
Dr Gwen Adshead
(£5k) for A Short Book About Evil

Judges: Richard Davenport-Hines, Caroline Moorehead and Gaby Wood.

2011 James Macdonald Lockhart Raptor: A Journey Through Britain’s Birds of Prey, Fourth Estate (£10k)

          Helen Smith Edward Garnett: The Uncommon Reader,
          Cape (£5k)
          Polly Morland The Society of Timid Souls, or How to be
          Brave
, Profile Books (£5k)

Judges: Andrew Holgate, Mark Lawson and Christopher Potter

2010   Alexander Monro The Paper Trail, Penguin (£10k)
           
           Roger Beam                   Englandspiel, Haynes (£5k)
           Jonathan Beckman       Cardinal Sins - Marie Antoinette  
          and the Affair of the Necklace, 
Fourth Estate (£5k)

Judges: Claire Armistead, Tristam Hunt MP and Robert Macfarlane

2009   Caspar Henderson The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Granta (£10K)

           Miles Hollingworth St Augustine: an Intellectual
          Biography, 
Continuum (£5k)
           Selina Mills Life Unseen: How Blindness Shaped the      
          West
, IB Tauris (£5k)

Judges: Mark Bostridge, Ferdinand Mount and Claire Tomalin

2008   Rachel Hewitt Map of a Nation, Granta (£10k)

           Matthew Hollis Edward Thomas: The Final Years, Faber
           (£5k)

           Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts 
           Edgelands - Journeys into England's Last Wilderness
,
           Cape (£2.5k each) 

Judges: Alice Albinia, Piers Brendon and James Meek

2007    Andrew Stott The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi, Canongate (£10k)

            Rachel Campbell-Johnston Life of Samuel Palmer,
            Bloomsbury (£5k)
            Daniel Swift Bomber County, Hamish Hamilton (£5k)

Judges: Hermione Lee, John Stubbs and Sara Wheeler

2006    Carolyn Steel Hungry City, Chatto (£10k)

            Sarah Irving Natural Science and the Origins of British
            Empire
, Pickering & Chatto (£5k)

            Sarah Irving Natural Science and the Origins of British
           Empire, 
Pickering & Chatto (£5k)
           Thomas Wright Oscar's Books, Chatto (£5k)

Judges: Roland Chambers, Moris Farhi and Hilary Spurling

2005    Alice Albinia Empires of the Indus, John Murray (£12,500)

            Christopher Turner Adventures in the Orgasmatron, 
            Fourth Estate (£10k)

            Druin Birch Digging Up the Dead, Chatto (£5k)
            Matthew Green The Wizard of the Nile, Portobello
            (£5k)

Judges: Brenda Maddox, Peter Parker and Matthew Parris

2004    Jim Endersby A Guinea Pig's History of Biology, Heinemann (£10K)

            Roland Chambers A Last Englishman - The Double
             Life of Arthur Ransome
, Faber (£5k)
             John Stubbs Donne -the Reformed Soul, Viking (£5k)

Judges: Michael Holroyd, Libby Purves and D.J. Taylor

The 2013 Awards

This year, Tom Burgis won £10,000 for his book The Looting Machine (to be published by HarperCollins in 2015), Julian Mash won £5,000 for Portobello Road: Dispatches from the Street (to be published by Francis Lincoln in 2014), and Dr Corri Waitt won £5,000 for The Wisdom of Chickens.

For more information about this year's winners and the works of non-fiction that they are writing, please download the press release. Photos by Adrian Pope.

The winners of the 2013 awards were announced at a small  party on 10 December.

The judges for 2013 were Damian Barr, Richard Holmes and Kathryn Hughes.



Sep 2014
Thu
11

The lives of others

Hilary Mantel, Harriet Walter

 
Sep 2014
Sat
27

 
Oct 2014
Thu
2

Writing wrongs

John Burnside, John Pickett

 
Oct 2014
Thu
16

 
Oct 2014
Wed
22

The Sri Lankan novel

V.V. Ganeshananthan, Romesh Gunesekera, Razia Iqbal

 
Nov 2014
Wed
5

Writing about monsters

Richard Davenport-Hines, Lucy Hughes-Hallett

 
 

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