Anne Youngson was among the winners at the Society of Authors’ Awards after publishing her first novel in her 70s.
Youngson won for Meet Me At The Museum, and was among the prize winners across nine awards at the annual ceremony.
Another debutant, poet Raymond Antrobus, was among the winners who shared the £100,000 prize fund.
Youngson published her first attempt at fiction after her 70th birthday, and has now won the £1,000 Paul Torday Memorial Prize
Judge Anita Sethi said: “I loved this engrossing story of friendship and family – it fascinates both in the form of its excellent use of the epistolary, and in its content as it explores actual human archaeology and the archaeology of the human heart.”
Around 500 literary figures attended the Society of Authors’ Awards, where prizes were claimed by James Clarke, Damian Le Bas, Dima Alzayat, Julian Jackson, Sophie Collins and Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott.
Judges praised the “mesmeric, restless, genre-bending, emotionally devastating writing from 32 writers who have taken us from the miners’ strike and travelling communities, to Truman Capote’s mind, each exploring the gamut of human experience from friendship, family and belonging, to what it means to be other”.