It was announced earlier today that the annual John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, that was due to be hosted in the autumn, has been postponed due to a lack of funding.

Booktrust, who organise the award  – which has been running in various forms since 1942 – have revealed that a lack of funding was behind the decision to postpone a prize that seeks to boost the prospects of emerging authors aged 35 or under.

This setback was accompanied by news that Booktrust have been forced to suspend its £2,500 Teenage prize and its three Early Years awards, worth £6,000 in total, also because of a lack of funds.

The news is a serious blow to emerging young authors and several former winners of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize have expressed their disappointment at the news, with 1966 winner Margaret Drabble commenting that “its disappearance would be a great loss to hopeful authors and the literary world”.

It remains to be seen when the award – that was  initiated in 1942 by Jane Oliver in memory of her husband, an author who was killed in the war – will return, although in a statement Booktrust suggested that it would be “back with a bang as soon as possible”.