Announcing the Writers’ Prize Winners and Book of the Year, The Home Child by Liz Berry


The Writers’ Prize 2024 Winners Media Release

28 March 2024



In the first year since its rebrand, The Writers’ Prize (formerly the Rathbones Folio Prize) announced an exceptional list of winners at a ceremony at The London Book Fair. Open to all works of literature, regardless of form, The Writers’ Prize is the only international, English-language award nominated and judged purely by other writers. This year’s shortlists and winners were decided entirely by the Folio Academy, made up of over 350 acclaimed writers who represent excellence in all areas of literature.


Liz Berry’s The Home Child was announced as the winner of the poetry category (£2000) and for The Writers’ Prize Book of the Year (£30,000), the first poet since Raymond Antrobus in 2019 to win the overall award. Born in the Black Country and now living in Birmingham, Berry’s winning book was inspired by the story of her great-aunt Eliza Showell, one of the many children forcibly emigrated to Canada as part of the British Child Migrant Schemes. The Home Child is a beautiful novel-in-verse about a child far from home, described as ‘absolutely magical’ by Fiona Benson.


Booker-winner Anne Enright, the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, won in the Fiction category (£2,000) for The Wren, The Wren, a stirring meditation on love and the love between mother and daughter.


Laura Cumming, who has been shortlisted for the Prize for three consecutive books, won the Non-Fiction category (£2,000) with Thunderclap, a kaleidoscopic memoir connecting her life as an art critic with the vivid world of her father’s paintings and those of the Dutch Golden Age.


Minna Fry, Director of The Writers’ Prize, said: ‘This year, in our new incarnation as The Writers’ Prize, we have been delighted by and deeply grateful for the engagement of the members of the Folio Academy. They have undertaken their new remit to decide on the shortlist and category winners with great seriousness, and a number of them have also supported the prize financially in its time of need.


Over the last nine weeks, we’ve celebrated three stunning shortlists – for fiction, poetry and non-fiction – each of which has reflected the exhilarating breadth and strength of the literary landscape in 2024. We are also grateful for the generosity of The TS Eliot Foundation, Bloomberg, Ingram Book Group and Rathbones – as well as a number of kind individuals – who have stepped forward to support the prize.’


For the second year running, women writers have triumphed in all three category awards and, in a prize first, all three titles were published by Vintage. Last year, Margo Jefferson took the Book of the Year prize for her ‘astounding and rhapsodic book,’ Constructing a Nervous System (Granta), alongside Victoria Adukwei Bulley, who was awarded the Poetry prize for her debut collection Quiet (Faber) and Michelle de Kretser who won the Fiction category for Scary Monsters (Atlantic).


In winning the overall prize, Liz Berry joins Margo Jefferson (2023), Colm Tóibín (2022), Carmen Maria Machado (2021), Valeria Luiselli (2020), Raymond Antrobus (2019), Richard Lloyd Parry (2018), Hisham Matar (2017), Akhil Sharma (2015) and George Saunders (2014) as previous winners of the Prize.