The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize
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The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize

The John Llewellyn Rhys PrizeThe John Llewellyn Rhys Prize was established in 1942 by Jane Oliver in memory of a young pilot killed two years earlier. It rewards a work of literature published in the United Kingdom by a Commonwealth author under the age of 35 writing in English and the prize is £5000.

A shortlist of six books is announced in October and the winner in November. A N Wilson is the only author to have won twice, although both V S Naipaul and his brother Shiva have won. No winning book has ever won another major literary award, although many winning authors have won major prizes with other titles - it was the first award to recognise the talents of both Angela Carter and Margaret Drabble - and 1984's winner Andrew Motion was to be appointed Poet Laureate.

From 1987 the prize was sponsored by The Mail on Sunday. Their sponsorship was withdrawn following the rejection of the Prize in 2002 by Hari Kunzru, who failed to appear at the ceremony and instead left his agent to read out a statement criticising both The Mail on Sunday and The Daily Mail for their 'editorial policy of vilifying and demonising refugees and asylum-seekers' and requesting that the prize money be donated to the charity, the Refugee Council. The judges were asked to select an alternative winner from the shortlist.

In June 2011, Booktrust were forced to suspend the Prize in the face in funding cuts. A statement was released saying: "We have taken the difficult decision not to run the John Llewellyn Rhys in autumn 2011. We have not taken this decision lightly and we strongly intend to bring back the prize with a bang in the very near future."

Previous Winners

2010: The Still Point by Amy Sackville

2009: After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld

2008: The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English by Henry Hitchings

2006/7: The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall

2005: Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

2004: Boy A by Jonathan Trigell

2003: Daughters of Jerusalem by Charlotte Mendelson

2002: Virgins of Venice by Mary Laven (currently out of print)

2001: The Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones

2000: Leadville: A Biography of the A40 by Edward Platt

1999: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

1998: The Ugliest House in the World by Peter Ho Davies (currently out of print)

1997: Eclipse of the Sun by Phil Whitaker (currently out of print)

1996: Heading Inland by Nicola Barker (currently out of print)

1995: Motel Nirvana: Dreaming of the New Age in the American Desert by Melanie McGrath

1994: What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe

1993: On Foot to the Golden Horn: A Walk to Istanbul by Jason Goodwin (currently out of print)

1992: Sweet Thames by Matthew Kneale (currently out of print)

1991: Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains by A L Kennedy

1990: Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius by Ray Monk

1989: Sylvia Townsend Warner by Claire Harman (currently out of print)

1988: The March Fence by Matthew Yorke (currently out of print)

1987: The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

1986: Loving Roger by Tim Parks (currently out of print)

1985: Out of the Blue by John Milne (currently out of print)

1984: Dangerous Play by Andrew Motion (currently out of print)

1983: The Slow Train to Milan by Lisa St Aubin de Terán (currently out of print)

1982: An Ice-cream War by William Boyd

1981: Walter Scott: The Laird of Abbotsford by A N Wilson

1980: The Diamonds at the Bottom of the Sea by Desmond Hogan (currently out of print)

1979: The Shining Mountain by Peter Boardman

1978: The Sweets of Pimlico by A N Wilson (currently out of print)

1977: Vorticism and Abstract Art in the First Machine Age by Richard Cork (currently out of print)

1976: NO AWARD

1975: Knuckle by David Hare AND Cushing’s Crusade by Tim Jeal (both currently out of print)

1974: The Girl Who Passed for Normal by Hugh Fleetwood (currently out of print)

1973: A Warm Gun by Peter Smalley (currently out of print)

1972: The Albatross by Susan Hill (currently out of print)

1971: Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul (currently out of print)

1970: The People's War: Britain, 1939-45 by Angus Calder

1969: Without a City Wall by Melvyn Bragg

1968: The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

1967: The Seahorse by Anthony Masters (currently out of print)

1966: The Millstone by Margaret Drabble

1965: The White Father by Julian Mitchell (currently out of print)

1964: Up the Junction by Nell Dunn

1963: Two Lives by Peter Marshall (currently out of print)

1962: An Introduction to the House of Commons by Robert Rhodes James AND A Tropical Childhood and Other Poems by Edward Lucie-Smith (both currently out of print)

1961: Flight into Camden by David Storey (currently out of print)

1960: At Fever Pitch by David Caute (currently out of print)

1959: A Long Way from London by Dan Jacobson (currently out of print)

1958: The Mystic Masseur & Miguel Street by V S Naipaul

1957: Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond

1956: Voices under the Window by John Hearne (currently out of print)

1955: The Moon to Play with by John Wiles (currently out of print)

1954: The Hostile Sun by Tom Stacey (currently out of print)

1953: The Return Home by Rachel Trickett (currently out of print)

1952: NO AWARD

1951: The Beautiful Visit by Elizabeth Jane Howard (currently out of print)

1950: Adventure Lit Their Star by Kenneth Allsop (currently out of print)

1949: Maidens' Trip by Emma Smith (due July 2011)

1948: The Wind Cannot Read by Richard Mason (currently out of print)

1947: Moondrop to Gasconny by Anne-Marie Walters (currently out of print)

1946: My Bird Sings by Oriel Malet (currently out of print)

1945: The Sea Eagle by James Aldridge (currently out of print)

1944: The Last Inspection by Alun Lewis (currently out of print)

1943: Beauty for Ashes by Morwenna Donnelly (currently out of print)

1942: Sunk by a Mine by Michael Richey (currently out of print)

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