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PEN Ackerley Prize (or, J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography) is awarded annually by English PEN for a literary autobiography of excellence, written by an author of British nationality and published during the preceding year. The winner receives £3,000. In recent years, the winner has been announced at the annual English PEN summer party.
The prize was established by Nancy West, née Ackerley, sister of English author and editor J. R. Ackerley, and was first awarded in 1982.
The prize is judged by the trustees of the J. R. Ackerley Trust; biographer and historian Peter Parker (Chair), writer and painter Colin Spencer, author Georgina Hammick and writer and critic Claire Harman. There is no formal submission process for the award — judges simply "call in" books to be added to their longlist.
- 1982: Edward Blishen, Shaky Relations
- 1983: Joint winners:
- 1984: Richard Cobb, Still Life
- 1985: Angelica Garnett, Deceived with Kindness
- 1986: Dan Jacobson, Time and Time Again
- 1987: Diana Athill, After the Funeral
- 1988: Anthony Burgess, Little Wilson and Big God
- 1989: John Healy, The Grass Arena
- 1990: Germaine Greer, Daddy We Hardly Knew You
- 1991: Paul Binding, St Martin's Ride
- 1992: John Osborne, Almost a Gentleman
- 1993: Barry Humphries, More, Please
- 1994: Blake Morrison, When Did You Last See Your Father?
- 1995: Paul Vaughan, Something in Linoleum
- 1996: Eric Lomax, The Railway Man
- 1997: Tim Lott, The Scent of Dried Roses
- 1998: Katrin Fitzherbert, True to Both Myselves
- 1999: Margaret Forster, Precious Lives
- 2000: Mark Frankland, Child of My Time
- 2001: Lorna Sage, Bad Blood
- 2002: Michael Foss, Out of India: A Raj Childhood
- 2003: Jenny Diski, Stranger on a Train
- 2004: Bryan Magee, Clouds of Glory: A Hoxton Childhood
- 2005: Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, Half an Arch
- 2006: Alan Bennett, Untold Stories
- 2007: Brian Thompson, Keeping Mum
- 2008: Miranda Seymour, In My Father's House
- 2009: Julia Blackburn, The Three of Us
- 2010: Gabriel Weston, Direct Red: A Surgeon's View of Her Life-or-Death Profession
- 2011: Michael Frayn, My Father’s Fortune
- 2012: Duncan Fallowell, How to Disappear
- 2013: Richard Holloway, Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt (Canongate)
- 2014: Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave (Virago)
- 2015: Henry Marsh, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
- 2016: Alice Jolly, Dead Babies and Seaside Towns
- 2017: Amy Liptrot, The Outrun (Canongate)
- 2018: Richard Beard, The Day That Went Missing (Harvill Secker)
- 2019: Yrsa Daley-Ward, The Terrible (Penguin)
- 2020: Alison Light, A Radical Romance: A Memoir of Love, Grief and Consolation (Fig Tree)
- "PEN Ackerley Prize".
- "PEN Ackerley Prize". English PEN. Retrieved 30 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Michael Frayn wins PEN Ackerley Prize 2011". English PEN.
- Sharp, Robert. "Duncan Fallowell wins PEN Ackerley Prize 2012". English PEN.
- Sharp, Robert. "Richard Holloway wins PEN Ackerley Prize 2013". English PEN. Retrieved 30 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Sharp, Robert. "Watch: Lennie Goodings reads Sonali Deraniyagala's PEN Ackerley Prize acceptance speech". English PEN. Retrieved 30 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Sharp, Robert. "Henry Marsh awarded PEN Ackerley Prize 2015". English PEN. Retrieved 30 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Cowdrey, Katherine (13 July 2016),"Alice Jolly's crowdfunded memoir wins PEN Ackerley Prize", The Bookseller.
- Sharp, Robert (6 July 2017). "Amy Liptrot awarded PEN Ackerley Prize 2017 for 'The Outrun'". English PEN. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- Chandler, Mark (10 July 2019), "Daley-Ward wins PEN Ackerley Prize", The Bookseller. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- "Light wins 2020 PEN/Ackerley Prize". Books+Publishing. 2020-08-21. Retrieved 2020-08-23.