Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a childminder and foster carer and a Caribbean father.


She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption, foster care and judgecraft for members of the judiciary.


Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader's Choice Prize 2014 and the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year.


MY NAME IS LEON, her first novel was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. She has two children and lives in the West Midlands.



My Name is Leon

Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017         

My Name is Leon

Shortlisted for the British Books Awards 2017

Debut Book of the Year        


My Name is Leon

Winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2017        

My Name is Leon Shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award 2016       


My Name is Leon

Shortlisted for the Books are My Bag

Breakthrough Authors Award 2016                                   

Bridport Prize 2015 Flash Fiction First Prize Crushing Big

Bare Fiction Prize 2015 Flash Fiction Second Prize 

I am the Painter's Daughter

Bridport Prize 2014 Flash Fiction First Prize

Romans 1 Verse 29 Sins Of The Heart 

Bath Short Story Award 2014 

Short Story Second Prize and BBC Radio 4 Drama

The Beautiful Thing 

Readers’ Prize at the SI Leeds Literary Awards 2014 

Blue in Green

Costa Short Story Award 2013 Second Prize 

The Old Man & The Suit 

Fish Prize 2011 Shortlisted 

A Taste of Death

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