Alice Oseman has been announced as the recipient of this year’s Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, while Salman Rushdie will receive the Medal for Prose.
According to News 18, the festival also announced Mererid Hopwood as the winner of the Medal for Poetry and Serhiy Zhadan will receive the Medal for Songwriting.
Oseman is an award-winning author, illustrator and screenwriter who secured her first publishing deal at the age of 17. She has written four YA contemporary novels – Solitaire, Radio Silence, I Was Born for This and Loveless (HarperCollins Children’s Books) – and is the creator of LGBTQ+ YA romance webcomic Heartstopper (Hodder Children’s Books), whose TV adaptation was released on Netflix last year.
Rushdie’s latest novel, Victory City (Jonathan Cape), will be launched at Hay Festival 2023 by a panel including Margaret Atwood and Elif Shafak. He continues his recovery following a violent attack last August and will receive his medal remotely.
Hopwood has won awards including the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Chair, the Tir na n’Og prize, the Crown and Prose Medal and the Welsh Book of the Year prize. Zhadan is Ukrainian and a musician, whose writing on the struggles of his compatriots have made him one of the country’s most important writers.
Hay Festival c.e.o Julie Finch said: “Hay Festival Medals this year will be awarded to honour exceptional work in poetry, fiction, songwriting and prose as we celebrate four groundbreaking storytellers at Hay Festival 2023. This spring’s edition is a beacon, an international symbol of hope for the collective, creative imagination.”
Confirmed speakers for this year’s festival, which takes place from 25th May to 4th June, include Max Porter, Caleb Azumah Nelson and Leïla Slimani.