The longlist for the 35th William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award – the world’s most valuable literary sports-writing prize – has been revealed today, featuring a diverse selection of sports from squash and snooker to swimming and surfing.
The 18-book longlist was selected from more than 150 entries following a rigorous judging process from a panel with expertise in both sports and literature including The Athletic’s Nancy Froston, sports presenter Matt Williams and William Hill’s Neil Foggin.
Books making this year’s longlist celebrate a diverse world of sports literature, covering tales and insight from 12 different sports. From gripping memoirs to thrilling narratives and insightful analysis from some of the most compelling sporting stars, the longlisted books have one common thread: a profound passion for sports and sporting literature.
Six female authors make this year’s cut: debut novelist Chetna Maroo; former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies; plus four American authors – NCAA champion distance runner Lauren Fleshman, multi-sport Paralympic athlete Oksana Masters, author Kathryn Scanlan and Sally H. Jacobs with the story of tennis champion and American sports legend Althea Gibson.
Three-time William Hill Sports Book of the Year winner Duncan Hamilton is also in the running for this year’s Award, alongside renowned snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Award panellist and renowned sports broadcaster, Matt Williams said: "This year’s longlist showcases the diversity of sports and the many ways in which they inspire, entertain, and unite communities."
"We received an unprecedented number of outstanding entries from talented authors this year, and whittling these down was no small feat, resulting in an historic moment for the Awards as we reveal a list of 18 longlisted books, which encompasses of both fiction and non-fiction."
"These remarkable titles explore the depths of sportsmanship, triumphs and challenges across the sporting industry including sexism, and the devastating effects that head injuries have on sportspeople. All the longlisted books not only have a great story to tell but their writing captivates the reader and is the best in sporting literature."
"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading so many inspirational books from the most talented of authors and I’m excited to see which of the 18 books comes out on top."
Now in its 35th year, the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award is dedicated to rewarding excellence in sports-writing and provides authors and publishers a platform to showcase and promote their book. The first William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award took place in 1989, earning it the title of the longest-established competition in the industry.
The shortlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2023 Award will be unveiled on 26th October, with the winner declared on 30th November 2023 at an official award ceremony at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London. The Award has a £30,000 cash prize for the winner and the shortlisted authors will each receive £3,000 and a leather-bound copy of their book.
For more information about the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, please visit: https://news.williamhill.com/sport/sports-book-of-the-year/