Watson, Little Prize: Upmarket Fiction – Megan Carroll

This is part of a series launching the Watson, Little Prize. The prize is international, genre-specific, and in this inaugural edition of the prize – in celebration of the agency’s 50th year – it is dedicated to writers over 50 years of age. It aims to encourage those from older generations, from all backgrounds and from all nations and cultures, to apply. The 2021 prize will focus on upmarket fiction, and we look forward to seeing entries in this genre.

Want to know how to submit? Click here.

In each part of this series, a member of Watson, Little staff will offer favourite examples of upmarket fiction. Today, we look at Megan Carroll‘s picks.

The Last Hundred Years trilogy, starting with SOME LUCK, represents everything I look for in upmarket fiction – a compelling cast of characters, multiple voices, family dynamics and astounding storytelling that keeps you turning the page. Published in 2014 when Jane was 65, it is masterful in its detail and incredibly engaging for a story that spans so many generations of the Langdon family.


EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU combines brilliant writing, and family drama with a devastating murder mystery. I so enjoy when upmarket fiction brings in elements of multiple genre and the plot unfolds in the same pacey way a more commercial thriller could, but with such beautifully realised characters and a complex family at its centre. I loved Celeste’s second novel, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE but this one has stayed with me – if for nothing else than that incredible opening.

Some of my favourite upmarket fiction is historical, and THE GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW sticks in my mind as a brilliant example of this (it was also a book I was not expecting to like, and ending up loving). Published in 2016, it’s such a witty, and original novel that completely took me by surprise. Towles manages to put the reader at the centre of an incredibly tumultuous time in Russia’s history without ever leaving the elegant Hotel Metropol.