Hay Festival Medals

Awarded annually since Britain’s Olympic year (2012), and crafted locally by silversmith Christopher Hamilton, the Hay Festival Medals draw inspiration from the original Olympic medal given for poetry.

Benjamin Zephaniah
Ali Smith

Hay Festival medals in 2021 are awarded to honour exceptional work in drama, poetry, journalism and prose. Emerald Fennell's drama medal celebrates her extraordinary directorial debut, Promising Young Woman, a prescient piece of filmmaking that has cemented her status as a world class storyteller. Benjamin Zephaniah's poetry medal marks four decades of offering hope and inspiration to so many, while tackling some of the biggest social issues of our moment. George Monbiot's journalism medal salutes his work, often at great personal risk, to bring us stories that shine light on the biggest issue of our times. And Ali Smith's prose medal is for the culmination of her extraordinary seasonal quartet. In a year of challenges that have put a strain on the very idea of togetherness, we have found storytellers to be the greatest defenders of community and empathy, and for that there is none better than Smith.

George Monbiot
Emerald Fennell



   Medal for Drama – Emerald Fennell

   Medal for Journalism – George Monbiot

   Medal for Poetry – Benjamin Zephaniah

   Medal for Prose – Ali Smith


   Medal for Journalism – Lydia Cacho

   Medal for Poetry – Inua Ellams

   Medal for Prose – Hilary Mantel


   Medal for Journalism – Carole Cadwalladr

   Medal for Poetry – Julia Donaldson

   Medal for Illustration – Axel Scheffler

   Medal for Fiction – Eric Vuillard



   Medal for Prose – Margaret Atwood

   Medal for Poetry – Evelyn Schlag

   Medal for Illustration – Jackie Morris



   Medal for Drama – Daniel Morden

   Medal for Prose – Philippe Sands

   Medal for Fiction – Cressida Cowell

   Medal for Festivals – Ahdaf Soueif



   Medal for Drama – Gregory Doran

   Medal for Poetry – Gillian Clarke

   Medal for Prose – Janine di Giovanni

   Medal for Song – Laura Marling



   Medal for Drama – Alan Bennett

   Medal for Education – Germaine Greer

   Medal for Illustration – Chris Riddell 

   Medal for Prose – Robert MacFarlane


   Medal for Drama – Hans Rosenfeldt

   Medal for Prose – Karl Ove Knausgaard

   Medal for Illustration – Oliver Jeffers 


   Medal for Fiction – John le Carre

   Medal for Poetry – Owen Sheers

   Medal for Drama – Miranda Hart


   Medal for Drama – Abi Morgan

   Medal for Poetry – Simon Armitage 

   Medal for Prose – Jeanette Winterson

Hay Festival medals being madeHay Festival medals being made