AWARD-WINNING actor Jack Lowden will add some additional drama to the tenth anniversary of the world’s biggest prize for historical fiction.

The Walter Scott Prize rewards outstanding new fiction set in the past with £25,000 to the winner.

Founded in 2009 by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the prize has become one of the highlights of the annual Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival.

Adding to the suspense, ahead of the winner being announced at Harmony Gardens on Saturday, June 15 will be extract readings from all of the short-listed books by Tommy's Honour, Dunkirk, and War & Peace star Jack Lowden.

As well as recently starring as Darnley in the blockbuster film Mary Queen of Scots, the Borders actor also starred in the popular TV dramatisations of previous Walter Scott Prize-winning historical novels Wolf Hall and The Long Song.

Jack told the Border Telegraph: "I am delighted and honoured to be invited to give selected readings from the books which have made the shortlist for this year’s Walter Scott Prize.

"As someone who was brought up and educated in the Borders, it gives me great pleasure to be involved in this auspicious event.”

Over its ten years, the Prize has gone from strength to strength and has, in the words of two-times winner Sebastian Barry, "... not only boosted and bolstered the historical novel, but also has begun to redefine it".

Previous winners alongside Barry include Hilary Mantel, Simon Mawer, Robert Harris, Andrea Levy,John Spurling, Tan Twan Eng and last year, Benjamin Myers, whose win was commemorated on a special Royal Mail postmark stamped on 30 million pieces of post.

Prize sponsor and founder, The Duke of Buccleuch said: "What a feast of exceptional writing has been showcased in Melrose in the 10 years since the founding of the Walter Scott Prize.

"Through the alchemy of historical fiction we have, together, crossed centuries and continents and met a cast of characters who I am sure have touched us all in some way or another.

"This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Ivanhoe, and as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the prize with panache, we will think back on our local genius who set it all in motion.”

The day before the prizegiving, on Friday, June 14, three of the shortlisted authors will assemble for a panel event at 6pm, chaired by popular book blogger Simon Savidge.

Samantha Harrison, Andrew Miller and Robin Robertson will all discuss their work and answer questions from the audience.

The full Walter Scott Prize shortlist is A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey (Faber), After The Party by Cressida Connolly (Viking), The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape), Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller (Sceptre), Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape) and The Long Take by Robin Robertson (Picador).

Jack Lowden will read extracts from all six novels at the ceremony, which starts at 1.45pm.

The Prize and the Book Festival have also commissioned an operetta written by acclaimed novelist Alexander McCall Smith, which will receive its world premiere just ahead of the prizegiving.

With music composed and performed by Tom Cunningham, the operetta takes the character of Dandie Dinmont from Scott’s novel Guy Mannering and weaves a story and music around it.

Children from Melrose Primary School will perform alongside professional opera singers – a fitting tribute for the Prize’s tenth anniversary.

Samantha Harvey, Andrew Miller and Robin Robertson will be talking about their work at the Borders Book Festival on Friday, June 14 at 6pm

Dandie Dinmont: The Operetta will receive its world premiere at the Borders Book Festival on Saturday, June 15 at 12noon.

The Walter Scott Prize ceremony and prizegiving takes place on Saturday, June 15 at 1.45pm, with readings by Jack Lowden.

Tickets for all three events are available at