SoA Awards 2023: Ciarán Folan wins ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award

Over 30 winners have been announced for the ALCS-sponsored Society of Authors’ Awards, which takes place tonight at Southwark Cathedral.

Ciarán Folan has won the ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award for his short story A Day, winning a prize of £2,000. The award, sponsored by ALCS and the Hawthornden Foundation, is for short stories by writers who have had at least one short story accepted for publication. Karen Stevens won runner-up for her short story Among the Crows, receiving a prize of £1,000.

This year’s judges were Claire Fuller, Sophie Haydock, Billy Kahora and Mary Watson. Judge Claire Fuller said:

“Our winning story drew me in from the very beginning, and then looped the idea of time over and under and over again so cleverly that I was never lost but felt I knew everything I needed to know about these characters and their situation. With its beautiful melancholic tone, ‘A Day’ by Ciaran Folan is storytelling at its very best.”

The SoA Awards is the UK’s biggest literary prize fund, worth over £100,000, which was shared between 30 writers, poets and illustrators. This year’s ceremony is hosted by Scottish crime writer, Val McDermid.

Other winners included Nicola Griffith, who won the inaugural ADCI (Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses) Literary Prize, for Spear, a lyrical, queer reimagining of Arthurian legend, in which “those usually airbrushed from history take centre stage”. The prize was launched in 2022 to encourage greater positive representation of disability in literature.

You can watch the livestream here, which starts at 7pm tonight.

Full list of winners

ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award: Ciarán Folan (winner), Karen Stevens (runner up)

The ADCI Literary Prize: Nicola Griffith (winner), Fiona Scott-Barrett (runner up)

Betty Task Prize: Daniel Wiles

Cholmondeley Awards: Caroline Bird, Jane Draycott, Greta Stoddart, Michael Symmons Roberts, Jackie Wills, Tamar Yoseloff

Eric Gregory Awards: Princess Arinola Adegbite, Jay Gao, Charlotte Shevchenko Knight, Mukahang Limbu, Momtaza Mehri, Helen Quah

Gordon Bowker Volcano Prize: Aamina Ahmad (winner), David Park (runner up)

McKitterick Prize: Louise Kennedy (winner), Liz Hyder (runner up)

Paul Torday Memorial Prize: Bonnie Garmus (winner), Julie Owen Moylan (runner up)

Queen’s Knickers Award: Olaf Falafel (winner), John Agard and Satoshi Kitamura (runners up)