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Past Prizes

text: The Portico Prize with architectural black and white porticoThrough the generous support of The Zochonis Charitable Trust and Arts Council England, the winners of the Fiction and Non-fiction categories will each be awarded £10,000.

Presentation of the awards will take place at one of the great highlights of Manchester’s literary calendar, the Portico Prize Award Dinner, which always proves to be an exciting and memorable occasion. For 2015 this prestigious event will take place at Manchester Mercure Hotel, Piccadilly, on Thursday 26th November. Commencing with a pre-dinner reception and the opportunity to mingle with some of the country’s finest authors, guests will enjoy a three-course meal in the fabulous and elegant International Suite.

Internationally renowned author and patron of The Portico Library, Val McDermid, will host the evening.

Below are the two winners from The Portico Prize for Literature 2012, Sarah Hall and Jean Sprackland.

At a closing event in January (date to be announced), the winners will also be presented with a beautifully bound copy of their winning entry. Legacy events profiling past winners and shortlisted authors will take place throughout the year at various locations across the region.


  1. 2012

  2. Fiction Sarah Hall The Beautiful Indifference

  3. Non-Fiction Jean Sprackland Strands

  1. 2010

  2. Fiction Sarah Hall How to Paint a Dead Man

  3. Non-Fiction Madeleine Bunting The Plot, a Biography of an English Acre

  1. 2008

  2. Fiction Sallie Day The Palace of Strange Girls

  3. Non-Fiction Catherine Bailey Black Diamonds

  1. 2006

  2. Winner Overall: Non-Fiction Andrew Biswell The Real Life of Anthony Burgess

  3. Fiction Val McDermid The Grave Tattoo

  1. 2004

  2. Terry Wyke Public Sculptures of Greater Manchester

  1. 2002

  2. Shelley Rohde The Lowry Lexicon: An A-Z of L S Lowry

  1. 2000

  2. John Parkinson-Bailey Manchester: An Architectural History

  1. 1997

  2. Paul Wilson Do White Whales Sing at the Edge of the World?

  1. 1995

  2. Richard Francis Taking Apart the Poco Poco

  1. 1993

  2. Jenny Uglow Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories

  1. 1991

  2. Alan Hankinson Coleridge Walks the Fells

  1. 1990

  2. Hugh Owen The Lowther Family

  1. 1989

  2. Anthony Burgess Any Old Iron

  1. 1988

  2. John Stalker Stalker

  3. Margaret Simey Democracy Rediscovered

  1. 1987

  2. Bill Naughton On the Pig's Back

  1. 1986

  2. Don Howarth Figures in a Bygone Landscape

  1. 1985

  2. Gary Messinger Manchester in the Victorian Age

text: The Zochonis Charitable Trust & Arts Council England