The rich, inclusive, human experience of books’ – Val McDermid to speak at 2023 SoA Awards
I’m The Society of Authors (SoA) has announced that Val McDermid – author of the Wire in the Blood series and the BBC One series Traces – will deliver the keynote speech at the annual SoA Awards ceremony, which returns to Southwark Cathedral on 29 June. She will join host and SoA Management Committee Chair Joanne Harris to present the UK’s richest array of literary awards. They will announce the winners of 12 prizes, a prize fund of over £100,000 celebrating fiction, non-fiction, poetry and illustration – rewarding authors at the start of their careers as well as those well-established.
This year, we will announce the winner of the inaugural ADCI Prize, an annual literary award open to authors with a disability or chronic illness, for novels that include a disabled or chronically ill character. The prize aims to celebrate disabled authors and their stories and the judges this year are Penny Batchelor, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Nydia Hebden, Karl Knights, Julia Lund, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Vikki Patis and Chloe Timms.
Val McDermid is a celebrated crime writer who has sold over 19 million books in more than 40 languages. She writes for television and several of her books have also been adapted for the screen. In the past, she has been a judge of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize. She joins the list of revered past keynote speakers, including Ben Okri, Stephen Fry, Lemn Sissay and Jackie Kay.
Commenting on the awards, she said:
Any literary awards ceremony should be an opportunity to celebrate what a winning work of literature has brought to our lives. But the SoA Awards don’t celebrate just one winner – they award many, working across different disciplines, at different stages in their careers. There are plenty of existential threats to creative careers – from cuts to arts funding and the pandemic, to Brexit and artificial intelligence. But I hope this year’s SoA Awards will be an opportunity to step back from that – to celebrate the rich, inclusive, human experience of books and the people who create them. I look forward to joining you all on 29 June.
The awards celebrate the very best of literature from authors at all stages of their careers – from poetry to novels and short stories. Some of today’s leading literary figures have formerly been recognised, including Carol Anne Duffy, Seamus Heaney and Zadie Smith. Last year, New Yorker cartoonist Will McPhail, novelist Maame Blue, Welsh poet Menna Elfyn and short story writer Kanya D’Almeida joined their ranks
To find out more about the Society of Authors Awards 2023, visit here…