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Author: Secretary

Neville, Sophie

Sophie Neville

Sophie Neville is currently launching The Making of Swallows & Amazons, a filmography of the 1974 feature film in which she played the part of Titty as a child. Although encouraged to work as an actor, she gained a BA in Anthropology at Durham University and forged a career in television production at the BBC, writing a number of the dramas and documentaries that she produced. The story of an abrupt change in her life is told in Funnily Enough, a self-published memoir that became a bestseller on Kindle and won her third prize in the International Rubery Book Award 2013. The sequel Ride the Wings of Morning tells of her escapades in southern Africa while she was working as a wildlife artist, freelancing for the BBC and researching her current project, the true story of a Commonwealth soldier who became a prisoner to the Japanese in WWII.

Sophie is President of The Arthur Ransome Society, a member of ACW and a Director of Witness Films Ltd. An official speaker for Bible Society, she often gives talks on Swallows & Amazons to raise funds for the Waterberg Welfare Society, a charity which addresses HIV/AIDS in a corner of rural South Africa where she lived for twelve years.

Judges – Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize

This prize was inaugurated in 2009, and is now sponsored by Slightly Foxed, the Real Reader’s Quarterly Read more

Judges – Tony Lothian Prize

  • 1999: Michael Holroyd and Nigel Hamilton
  • 2000: Victoria Glendinning, Richard Holmes and Frances Spalding
  • 2001: Anne de Courcy, Selina Hastings and Alan Judd
  • 2002: Anthony Sampson, Mary Lovell and Lyndall Gordon
  • 2003: Sarah Bradford, Lucy Moore and Mary Amory
  • 2004: David Ellis, Anne Chisholm and Anna Swan
  • 2005: Miranda Seymour, Robert Lacey and Caroline Moorehead
  • 2006: HRH Princess Michael of Kent, Jeremy Lewis and Paul Laity
  • 2007: Rachel Holmes, Anne Sebba and Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson
  • 2008: Nicola Beauman, Richard Davenport-Hines and Andrew Crofts
  • 2009: Margaret Drabble, Anne de Courcy and John Guy
  • 2010: Kate Williams, Matthew Parris and Benjamin Buchan
  • 2011: Valerie Grove, Jane Mays and David Waller
  • 2012: Michael Crick, Neil McKenna and Carole Seymour-Jones
  • 2013: Tracy Borman, Helen Fry, Andrew Lycett
  • 2014: Lara Feigel, Allan Massie, Adam Sisman
  • 2015: Claudia Renton, Jeremy Lewis, Frances Wilson
  • 2016: Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Susie Dowdall, Peter Stanford
  • 2017: Alex Clark, Lindsay Duguid, Edmund Gordon



TLP Prize Entry

How to enter the Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize:

The £2,000 Tony Lothian Prize (sponsored by her daughter, Elizabeth, Duchess of Buccleuch) is for an uncommissioned proposal by a first-time biographer.

Proposals of no more than 20 pages (unbound), including synopsis, 10-page sample chapter (double-spaced, numbered pages), CV and note on the market for the book and competing literature, to: Ariane Bankes, email or by post to: E6 Albany, Piccadilly, London W1J 0AR. Enquiries: 07985 920341.

Deadline: 30 August 2019.

Entry fee: £15 (cheques payable to the Biographers’ Club). For mandatory entry form, see below.

This year’s judges: Alex Clark is a journalist and broadcaster who writes for the Guardian and the Observer, and is the Artistic Director for Words and Literature at the Bath Festival; Lindsay Duguid is a former editor at the TLS and a judge of the Duff Cooper Prize; Catharine Morris has worked at the TLS since 2008 in the fields of biography, memoir, travel, bibliography and language. From 2004–08 she worked in the obituaries department of The Times.

[Only the shortlisted entrants will be contacted]

You can apply by downloading and printing out the Prize Entry Form below (sign and send by post to the Prize Administrator at the above address). Entry fee £15, cheques payable to the Biographers’ Club, or by bank transfer (email for our bank details).

microsoft_word Tony Lothian Entry Form 2019 (Word)

If you are a UK taxpayer, could you please fill in the Gift Aid form:

Gift Aid Declaration Form



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Winners – Exceptional Contribution (previously Lifetime Services) to Biography Award

Read more

Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize Entry

This prize is for first-time biographers. Only entries submitted by publishers will be accepted for consideration. Literary memoirs are also eligible, but the following genres are not eligible: celebrity autobiographies and ghostwritten books. Read more

Previous Winners – Best First Biography Prize

Previous winners of the Best First Biography Prize, now known as the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize: Read more

Antonia Fraser on winning the Lifetime Services to Biography Prize

Ladies and Gentlemen, Thomas Carlyle once famously – or infamously – said that a well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one. This is certainly not the motto of the Biographers Club. Read more

Previous Winners – Tony Lothian Prize

Previous winners of the Biographers’ Club Prize (now the Tony Lothian Prize): Read more

Harriet Tuckey on what winning the Tony Lothian Prize meant to her

I had finished the first draft of my book before entering for the Tony Lothian Prize. I knew I had uncovered a really good story, about my eccentric, difficult father, the physiologist on the 1953 Everest Expedition. I couldn’t bear him, yet felt bound to write about him. Without his work, the Everest ascent in 1953 would not have been possible. Read more