Portico Prize 2015 winners announced

Benjamin Myers was awarded The Portico Prize for Literature, the North's leading literary award, at a gala ceremony held in Manchester last night

Feature by News Team | 27 Nov 2015

Myers walks away with £10,000 for his novel Beastings, the Calderdale author's follow-up to the Gordon Burn Prize-winning Pig Iron, in the fiction category . Published by Hebden Bridge-based independent publishers Bluemoose and set in the distant past, it tells the story of a teenage girl who leaves the workhouse and abducts a child placed in her care – they then go on the run across the Cumbrian mountains from the local priest called upon to retrieve them.

In the non-fiction catagory, Richard Benson was awarded £10,000 for The Valley, published by Bloomsbury. Spanning Richard Benson's great-grandmother Winnie's ninety-two years living in the Dearne Valley, the book draws on years of historical research, interviews and anecdotes.

Last night's awards, hosted by renowned crime novelist Val McDermid, marked the 30th anniversary of the Portico Prize, which was established by Manchester's Portico Library in 1985 to celebrate high quality literature set wholly or mainly in the North of England. 

Among the other fiction nominees for the biennial award were Rebecca Goss's for her poetry collection Her Birth, which was nominated for the 2013 Forward Prize, Toby Martinez de las Rivas for Terror, Katrina Porteous for Two Countries, Michael Symmons Roberts for Drysalter, and fantasy author Alan Garner was nominated for Boneland, the final instalment in an (unplanned) trilogy.

In the non-fiction category, Jenny Uglow was nominated for a second time in the prize's history for The Pinecone (she won in 1993 for WHAT), as well as James Rebanks for A Shepherd's Life, Rob Cowen for Common Ground and Cathy Rentzenbrink for The Last Act of Love