W. Somerset Maugham set up a fund in 1947 to enable young writers to enrich their work by gaining experience of foreign countries. The awards are given for a published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

The author must be a British national, or resident in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for three years prior to the date of submission for the award, and writing in English.
The author must be under the age of 30
The work submitted must be a full-length book and have been first published in Britain.
The work submitted may be poetry, fiction, criticism, biography, history, philosophy, belles-lettres or a travel book. Dramatic works are not eligible.


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