The Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer's Award 2022 shortlist announced

The British Library and Hay Festival are delighted to reveal the shortlist for the 2022 Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer’s Award. Awarded annually to two writers in the early stages of a new book relating to the Americas, the £20,000 prize is now in its eleventh year. The 2021 winners were the novelist Pola Oloixarac and historian Imaobong Umoren.

The 2022 shortlist is notably dominated by non-fiction, with four works of history appearing on the six-strong list. Reflecting the international scope of the prize, the shortlist spans a broad range of countries; including authors from Ecuador, Ireland, Spain, the UK and USA and ideas spanning a further range of countries and cultures.

Each shortlisted writer will receive an Eccles Centre Fellowship, which awards funds of up to £2500 to support in-person research at the British Library.

As well as the prize, winners are also awarded a year’s research residency at the British Library and access to a dedicated platform at Hay Festival events in the UK, Europe and Latin America upon publication of their book. 

The 2022 winners are due to be announced in an awards reception at the British Library on 30 November. For full details of the shortlist, please visit bl.uk/writers-award.

The 2021 shortlist

Maria Fernanda Ampuero is selected for Tzantza, a horror novel exploring the Shuar (Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazonians) practice of creating shrunken heads – tzantzas - of their enemies. To be published in Spanish by Tránsito Editorial.

Philip Clark is selected for Sound and The City, a history of the sound of New York City and an investigation into what makes New York sound like New York. To be published in English by White Rabbit Books.

Hannah Durkin is selected for The Last Slavesa work of non-fiction telling the stories of the final survivors of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to land on U.S. soil in 1860, 52 years after a federal law banning the importation of slaves to the country. To be published in English by HarperCollins.

Christienna Fryar is selected for Entangled Lands: A Caribbean History of Britain,a history of Britain told through its centuries-long relationship with the region of the Caribbean. To be published in English by Allen Lane.

Diarmuid Hester is selected for Nothing Ever Just Disappears, a work of non-fiction highlighting seven queer spaces and the queer lives that were inextricably shaped by them, from E M Forster to Josephine Baker. To be published in English by Allen Lane.

Javier Montes is selected for Trópico de Londres (Tropic of London), the final instalment in a trilogy, preceded by Varados en Río (Stranded in Rio) and Luz del Fuego. The book will tell the story of Latin American artists, writers and intellectual exiles in London during the second half of the 20th century, and will be a hybrid of the detective novel, literary essay, and the fictionalisation of historical figures. To be published in Spanish by Anagrama.