Writer’s Award 2024 goes to Hannah Lowe and Alia Trabucco Zerán

Authors Hannah Lowe and Alia Trabucco Zerán were announced as the 2024 winners of the Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer’s Award, in a reception at the British Library last night (Wednesday 29 November).

Lowe and Zerán are each awarded £20,000 and up to a year’s writing residency at the British Library to develop their forthcoming books using the Library’s Americas collections, as well as the opportunity to showcase their finished work at Hay Festival events in the UK and Latin America.

They were selected from a six-strong shortlist of writers hailing from Europe, North and South America. Including both fiction and non-fiction, the 2024 shortlist covered a diverse array of subjects relating to the Americas including migration, gendered labour, folk healing, and revolution.

Now in its 13th year, the Writer’s Award is given annually to two writers in the early stages of a new book relating to the Americas. Along with the £20,000 grant, the winners also receive a residency at the British Library, the chance to appear at future Hay Festival editions with their published work, and the opportunity to work with the Eccles Centre to develop and facilitate activities and events related to their research at the British Library.

The 2024 judging panel comprised Eccles Fisher Associates Director Catherine Eccles, Hay Festival International Director Cristina Fuentes La Roche, Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library Polly Russell, WritersMosaic Director Colin Grant and Lucy Rowlands, interim Lead Curator for American Collections at the British Library.

Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library Polly Russell said “We could not be more excited to support Hannah Lowe and Alia Trabucco as the 2024 Eccles-Hay Writer’s Award winners. Both their projects – one focussed on the Chinese population of the Caribbean and the other on Latin American identity - promise to explore untapped British Library Americas collections and to uncover aspects of Latin American and Caribbean culture and history that have been much overlooked. We look forward to welcoming them to the Library and supporting their work as they delve into the Library’s rich holdings. 

Hay Festival International Director Cristina Fuentes La Roche said “We are delighted to award the grants to two writers that explore shifting identities, belonging and its meanings on today´s world, and that would link up their literary project with the work of amazing writers and researchers from the British Library archives.

Alia Trabucco’s project, about identity, specifically that of women, will connect the literary work of a writer who is already one of Latin America more exciting voices with the quest to explore identities by writers and artists such as Frida Kahlo. Hannah Lowe´s looks into the past, more specifically her own family, exploring race, colonial complexities and the legacy of the British Empire. We can´t wait to learn about their explorations and findings at the archives.”

Submissions for the 2024 Writer’s Award will open next summer.