Prizes and Awards

The Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize

This annual global prize makes an award to an individual of any nationality of exceptional and inter-disciplinary talents in the spirit of Keynes’s work, life and legacy. Reflecting that legacy, the winner will be widely recognised as having made an outstanding contribution to society through his or her work in economics, the arts, international relations, politics or a combination of these.

In the spirit of the Bloomsbury set, the Prize will be a specially commissioned work of art and the winner will be invited to give the annual Charleston-EFG Keynes lecture at the Charleston Festival each May.

2017 Winner : Stephen Hawking

In the spirit of John Maynard Keynes’ work, life and legacy, this global prize recognises Hawking’s outstanding contribution to society. Professor Stephen Hawking is a theoretical cosmologist who holds the Stephen W.Hawking chair of cosmology at Cambridge University. Currently the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at Cambridge, he was previously the long-serving Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, the same post held by Sir Isaac Newton. John Maynard Keynes was an admirer of Newton and possessed a major collection of his writing. Hawking’s scientific work has centred on black holes and the origins of the universe.

A prolific commentator on important public, cultural and scientific issues, Professor Hawking has used his high profile to highlight the dangers faced by the human race, including global warming, overpopulation, caution over AI and the risks to UK science in leaving the European Union.

2016 Winner : Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners Lee at Charleston

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the inventor of the Web. A graduate of Oxford University, Sir Tim invented the Web in 1989. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2004 he was knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth and in 2007 he was awarded the Order of Merit. He is the Founder and Director of the World Wide Consortium (W3C) and the World Wide Web Foundation. He is President of the Open Data Institute in London and is a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sir Tim is a long time defender of Net Neutrality and the openness of the Web.

2015 Winner : Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen at Charleston

Regarded as one of the world’s foremost thinkers in the field of famine, poverty, social choice and welfare economics, Amartya Sen’s ground-breaking work has not only been academically influential, but has also had a profound impact on the formation of development policy worldwide. Currently a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, Sen has been a Professor at the London School of Economics and until 2004 was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

Charleston Small Wonder Award for a Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction.

Awarded to writers with a strong track record in publishing short stories of outstanding quality. Previous recipients are William Trevor, Edna O’Brien and Jane Gardam and Ali Smith

2017 Winner : Penelope Lively

We are proud to announce that Penelope Lively is the fifth recipient of the only award to recognise long-standing creativity and achievement in the short story genre. She is the author of several acclaimed short story collections and prize-winning novels, including the Booker Prize for Moon Tiger.

Her latest collection, The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories, received universal praise: “The Purple Swamp Hen is an enchanting story that sets the tone for this stellar collection” (Observer). Penelope Lively will be in conversation with Di Speirs, BBC Radio’s Editor of Books and member of the Award’s Advisory Panel

2016 Winner : Ali Smith

Ali Smith

Awarded a CBE in 2015 for her distinguished and innovative contribution to literature, Ali Smith is a previous winner of the Bailey’s, Costa, Whitbread and Goldsmiths Prizes, amongst others, and has been shortlisted for multiple literary awards including the Man Booker Prize and the Folio Prize. The acclaimed Scottish writer’s numerous novels and short story collections include How to be Both, The Accidental, Hotel World and Free Love and Other Stories. Born in Inverness, Ali Smith now lives in Cambridge. She writes regularly for The Guardian, The Scotsman and The Times Literary Supplement, and was described, by Patrick Flanery, author and professor of creative writing, as being ‘among Virginia Woolf’s most gifted inheritors’ which makes this Charleston prize particularly apt.


2015 Winner : Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam

2014 Winner : Edna O’Brien

Edna O'Brien

2013 Winner : William Trevor

What's on

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01 AugMusic
CROWLINK | Shirley Collins

2021. Legendary folk singer Shirley Collins in a unique collaboration with Brian Catling and Matthew Shaw.

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Join Juliet Sargeant to learn about all the chalk-loving plants at Charleston.

06 SepWorkshop
Painting in the Garden | Autumn

Join artist Julian Le Bas for a day’s intensive painting, and lose yourself in the atmosphere of the walled garden.

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