Kanya D’Almeida wins ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award, and more SoA Award winners announced

Thirty-two writers, poets and illustrators at all stages of their careers have shared the UK’s biggest literary prize fund of more than £100,000. ALCS is the proud sponsor of these awards.

The Society of Authors has announced the winners of the ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award, the Betty Trask Prize and Awards, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize, the Queen’s Knickers Award, the McKitterick Prize and, in its first year, the Gordon Bowker Volcano Prize.

Lemn Sissay, Joanne Harris and the celebrated judging panels will congratulate the winners in a live ceremony at 7pm on Wednesday 1 June at Southwark Cathedral in London.

The winners for each award are:


Kanya D’Almeida is a Sri Lankan writer. Her story ‘I Cleaned The—’ won the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Her fiction has appeared on Jaggery and The Bangalore Review. She holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She is the host of The Darkest Light, a podcast exploring birth and motherhood in Sri Lanka. She is currently working on a book of short stories.

ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award judge Claire Fuller says: ‘I Cleaned The— gets everything right. Bold, brilliant writing, a strong story, and unforgettable characters. I loved the black humour, the subtle layers and themes, and all the unsaid things that made me think about it long after I’d finished. It’s the sort of story that you can read again and again and each time discover something new.’


Dean Gessie is an author and poet who has won dozens of international awards and prizes. Among other honours, Dean was included in The 64 Best Poets of 2018 and 2019 by Black Mountain Press in North Carolina. Dean’s short story collection – called Anthropocene – won an Eyelands Book Award in Greece and the Uncollected Press Prize in Maryland. He has a book of poetry forthcoming [goat song] from Uncollected Press.


Betty Trask Prize winner:

Will McPhail for In: The Graphic Novel (Hodder & Stoughton, Sceptre)


Betty Trask Awards winners

Megan Nolan for Acts of Desperation (Jonathan Cape, Penguin Random House)

Natasha Brown for Assembly (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin General)

Caleb Azumah Nelson for Open Water (Penguin Random House, Viking)

K. Blakemore for The Manningtree Witches (Granta Books)


Cholmondeley Award winners

Menna Elfyn

David Kinloch

Tiffany Atkinson

Gerry Loose

Maggie O’Sullivan


Eric Gregory Award winners

Stephanie Sy-Quia for Amnion

Daniella Fearon for Beyond the Monochrome Lens

Jack Cooper for Break the Nose of Every Beautiful Thing

Maisie Newman for Our Names Were Oil

Courtney Conrad for Revelations

Rhiya Pau for Routes

Joe Carrick-Varty for Sky Doc


Gordon Bowker Volcano Prize winner

Sheila Llewellyn for Winter In Tabriz (Sceptre, Hodder & Stoughton)


McKitterick Prize winner

David Annand for Peterdown (Little, Brown Book Group / Corsair Imprint)


Paul Torday Memorial Prize winner

Jane Fraser for Advent (Honno Press)


Queen’s Knickers Award winner

Alastair Chisholm and David Roberts for Inch And Grub (Walker Books)


Somerset Maugham Award winners

Stephanie Sy-Quia for Amnion (Granta, Granta Poetry)

Tice Cin for Keeping The House (And Other Stories)

Lucia Osborne-Crowley for My Body Keeps Your Secrets (The Indigo Press)

Caleb Azumah Nelson for Open Water (Penguin Random House, Viking)

Maia Elsner for Overrun By Wild Boars (Flipped Eye Publishing)


Travelling scholarships:

Linda Brogan

Maame Blue

Dylan Moore

Ayisha Malik

Ben Judah

Alice Albinia