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The College announced the 2022 winner of its prestigious Fiction Prize at tonight’s award ceremony.

Hannah Stapleton has won the 2022 Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize with her novel Blue Tears.

This year’s prize received once again a high number of entries, totalling 572. Six were shortlisted by a panel chaired by political journalist, Broadcaster, Former College President and Honorary Fellow of the College Jackie Ashley. New to the judging panel were Sara Collins, author and previous prize shortlistee, and Phoebe Morgan, Harper Collins Editorial Director and author. Returning to the panel were editor and ghost-writer Gillian Stern, Fellows Emeritae Dr Isobel Maddison and Lindsey Traub, and poet, crime writer and Honorary Fellow of the College, Sophie Hannah. Returning to the panel was also agent, Tim Bates, from our valued literary sponsor, Peter Fraser Dunlop.

Hannah Stapleton is a visual artist, and has worked with young refugees and asylum seekers in therapeutic contexts. Hannah grew up between Australia, South America and South-East Asia before coming to live in England. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, and a BA in Religions and South Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London. Her novel, Blue Tears, was longlisted for the 2021 Mslexia Novel Competition and shortlisted for the 2021 Janklow & Nesbit Prize. As well as writing, she has been developing a practice in land care and growing food through regenerative practices. 

Tim Bates comments on this year's winner, “Among a very high-quality shortlist, one entry stood out for its originality and confidence. Hannah Stapleton’s BLUE TEARS is a stylish, fresh and, at times, disconcerting debut novel. Hannah has created a fascinating view of the world, and her novel is both provocative and gripping. She is a worthy winner."

College President, Dame Madeleine Atkins said, “Many congratulations to Hannah and all of those who made it to the final. It is a fantastic achievement. We are delighted to help authors and we are excited to watch their writing careers blossom.”

Since the Prize’s foundation in 2010, many of our shortlisted authors have been offered agency representation and have gone on to be published, many of their books becoming bestsellers. We are extremely proud at Lucy Cavendish to be the starting point in numerous entrants’ success stories, giving them the platform to launch successful and ongoing careers as novelists. 

Read more about the successful authors here.

Read about the 2022 shortlist here.

About Lucy Cavendish College

Lucy Cavendish College’s mission is to attract, support and unlock the potential of students from non-traditional and underrepresented backgrounds who are driven by a desire to make a difference and committed to having a positive and lasting impact on society.

Our undergraduate and postgraduate students come from over sixty countries and a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Many have changed careers or overcome significant challenges in order to reach University.

Contact information Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, T: 01223 768426, E:

To find out more about the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize click here.