Daniel Shand wins the Betty Trask Award 2017
Daniel Shand has been named the winner of this year's £10,000 Betty Trask Prize for his darkly comic novel Fallow (Sandstone Press) at the Society of Authors’ annual awards. Meanwhile the first ever self-published novel on the Betty Trask shortlist, Speak its Name by Kathleen Jowitt, was awarded £5,000.
Altogether awards worth a total of £94,000 were handed out at an event at the Army & Navy Club in London on Tuesday evening (20th June) to authors including debuts by writers under 35, poetry, fiction, historical biography.
The judges for the Betty Trask Prize, Simon Brett, Joanne Harris and Michèle Roberts, said Shand's book "works on so many levels" in managing to splice "a road trip through Scotland, a modern Biblical parable and a tense psychological thriller with echoes of Iain Banks and Cormac McCarthy". It is given to authors under the age of 35 for a first novel of "outstanding literary merit".
About winning the award, Daniel Shand said: 'I am extremely proud that Fallow was selected by the panel. It feels fantastic to know your work is being read and enjoyed.'
Managing Director, Robert Davidson said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Daniel Shand has won this year’s Betty Trask Award for debut novelists under the age of thirty-five. He was up against some competition! Our acquisitions team, and editorial director Moira Forsyth in particular, spotted Daniel as a special talent and worked closely with him on Fallow. The Betty Trask judges have agreed and I do believe that we are now looking at the beginnings of a very fine career, as it this award has previously kickstarted the careers of such as Zadie Smith, Jon MacGregor and Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton. If you haven’t read Fallow yet I hope you will do so now. Be in at the start.’