Impress Prize

Sophie Haydock

Congratulations to Sophie Haydock, this year’s winner of the Impress Prize for New Writers!

Sophie said:  ‘I’m very grateful that the judges saw potential in my novel, The Flames, which tells the story of the four exceptional women who fuelled the dazzling success of the artist Egon Schiele in Vienna 100 years ago. I’m also really pleased to be among other brilliant writers who have won this prize in the past, and to be at this exciting point in my writing career.’

Sophie Haydock is a freelance journalist and associate director of the Word Factory @SophieHaydock

Her entry was chosen by poet, author and University of Exeter lecturer Anthony Wilson, author Lisa Dickenson and Impress Books editor Rosie Stewart, from the shortlist of 12 listed below.

The panel said: ‘Sophie’s writing is vivid and evocative, bringing to life the stories of the women who shaped Egon Schiele’s life. ‘

This year’s shortlist was:

1. Full of Donkey: Travels in Armenia by Ashley Kalagian Blunt
2. Why do Humans Kiss? by Ruth Colmer
3. Different for Girls by Stephanie Davies
4. Secret Harvest by V.J. Hamilton
5. The Flames by Sophie Haydock
6. Because of a Stranger by Federica Romaniello
7. Manual for a Decent Life by Kavita A Jindal
8. Beyond the Dark River by Angela Kingston
9. Brace against the Waves by Lori Inglis Hall
10. Thin Air by Harriet Connides
11. The Big Nothing by Sarah Gordon
12. Behind me Lies the Desert by Kevin Gerard Neill

Now in its 12th year, the prize was created to champion and nurture new voices. Winners of past prizes have gone on to sell rights across the globe, and those shortlisted have enjoyed multiple book deals with Impress.

The prize is a publishing contract with Impress Books in both print and eBook, and a £500 advance.

Writers submit a 6,000 word sample of their manuscript, a synopsis, publishing rationale, and author biography to Impress. A shortlist is created by the Impress team, and this is then sent to a panel of external judges who decide on a winner.

We will be announcing the 2018 panel in the coming months. The panel will consist of published authors, booksellers, agents and one member of the Impress team.

The prize is open to all writers who have not been traditionally published before (this makes eligible self-published authors, or writers who have had other work published including short stories, poetry, and academic work). We accept both fiction and non-fiction entries across all genres, but do not accept poetry.

This is an amazing opportunity for emerging, unpublished writers to have their work assessed by experts and considered for publication by Impress.