Debut Writers Over 50, a literary award for mature authors

26 April 2023

Jenny Brown Associates, a literary agency based in Edinburgh, Scotland, announced the launch of a literary prize for emerging authors aged fifty and over, the Debut Writers Over 50 award, at this year’s London Book Fair. Speaking at the event, which was held last week, agency associate Lisa Highton said when it comes to starting out as a writer, youth should not be a prerequisite:

“The bestseller lists are full of debut novelists who are older, but the perception is that you have to be young when your first book comes out,” says literary agent Lisa Highton of Jenny Brown Associates. “But being a debut is not just about being a shiny, sparkly, young person. The reason we launched the award was to say to people over 50 yes, you too can be a shiny, sparkly, new writer – just older.”

This is a great initiative. I’m not sure how many literary awards cater for mature authors, but there sure seems to be plenty aimed at youth writers, and people aged under thirty-five. And that’s fine. Emerging younger writers need to be encouraged, since it’s difficult to become established in an industry dominated — usually — by, you know, older, big name authors, or those with several books to their name.

While the Debut Writers Over 50 award is for unpublished novelists residing in the United Kingdom, it’s good to see people commencing writing careers later in life being recognised. Submissions for the inaugural award close at the end of next month. A shortlist will be published on 27 July 2023, and the winner will be named on 26 August 2023, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.


, ,