Portico Prize won by Manchester academic Jean Sprackland

Jean Sprackland
Image caption Jean Sprackland said she was delighted just to be shortlisted

An academic from Manchester Metropolitan University has won a top literary honour.

Jean Sprackland, a senior lecturer in creative writing, won the £10,000 Portico Prize for non-fiction writing for her book Strands.

The book is a series of meditations prompted by walking on wild beaches between Blackpool and Liverpool.

She said she was "amazed" to win the biennial prize awarded to authors in the north of England.

'Strong field'

She said: "I've spent the time since the shortlist was announced being delighted just to have been included in such a strong field.

"The special thing about this prize is that it's an award connected to a library - a library which connects the people of Manchester to the city's past."

Sarah Hall won the £10,000 Portico Prize for fiction for the second year in a row for the Beautiful Indifference.

The author, who was born in Cumbria, is the first author since it was established in 1985 to win the award twice.

Authors Kay Eason and Michael Rose and broadcaster Stuart Maconie judged the prize which was established in 1985.

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