Festivals, Cultural and City Events

James Tait Black Prizes 2015

Eleven works were shortlisted for the Book and Drama Prizes awarded by the University of Edinburgh.

James II

Book Prizes

Four novels and four biographies were nominated for the £10,000 book prizes awarded by the University of Edinburgh for books published in the previous year.

The winners of the prize were announced on Monday, 17 August at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Debut novelist Zia Haider Rahman won the fiction prize for In the Light of What We Know (Picador), and Richard Benson's The Valley: A Hundred Years in the Life of a Yorkshire Family won the biography prize.

The prizes are awarded annually by the University’s School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures - the oldest centre for the study of English Literature in the world, established in 1762.

More than 400 books were read by Edinburgh academics and postgraduate students, who nominated books for the shortlist.

The four novels that competed for the fiction prize were:

  • Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey
  • Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
  • In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman
  • We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

The shortlisted works for the biography section were:

  • The Valley: A Hundred Years in the Life of a Family by Richard Benson
  • In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies
  • Eleanor Marx: A Life by Rachel Holmes
  • Other People’s Countries: A Journey into Memory by Patrick McGuinness

The James Tait Black Prizes

Monday 17 August 2015, 6.45pm - 7.45pm

Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4DR

Tickets: Full price £10, Concession £8

Location information

Drama Prize

Tomorrow Come Today by Gordon Dahlquist

Three plays were shortlisted for the 2015 James Tait Black Prize for Drama, selected from more than 180 entries worldwide.

This year’s winner was announced at a ceremony on Monday, 24 August in the Traverse Theatre, where readings of each play were delivered by professional actors.

Tomorrow Come Today by Brooklyn-based playwright and bestselling sci-fi novelist Gordon Dahlquist took home the 2015 Prize.

The winning play is a science fiction drama about people who swap bodies to cheat death, set against the backdrop of an impending apocalypse.

The shortlisted dramas from playwrights based in Scotland, England and the United States were:

  • Tomorrow Come Today by Gordon Dahlquist, first produced by Undermain Theatre, Texas
  • The James Plays by Rona Munro, presented by National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Great Britain
  • Incognito by Nick Payne, a Live Theatre, nabokov & HighTide Festival Theatre production in association with The North Wall

The drama prize was judged by postgraduate students and academics from the University.

Judges award the prize to the best new play in English, Scots or Gaelic, which they consider demonstrates an original theatrical voice and makes a significant contribution to the art form.

This year's longlist was impressive and as wide-ranging as the judges' discussion. We narrowed it down to three works of great variety in form and subject matter, each of which would be a worthy winner.

Ben TwistMember of the judging panel and Director of Creative Carbon Scotland

The £10,000 drama prize was presented by the University in association with Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and the Traverse Theatre.

James Tait Black Prize for Drama Award Ceremony

Monday 24 August 2015, 6.00pm

Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED

Tickets: Full price £6, Concession £4. Ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink.

Location map

Information on Traverse website

Related Links