A woman who dropped out of school at 16 and took up writing at 25 has won the Dundee International Book Prize.
Amy Mason, from Oxford, won the £10,000 prize and a publishing deal for her debut novel The Other Ida.
The 32-year-old saw off competition from 400 entries from across the world in the annual contest, which was judged by a panel including novelist Neil Gaiman and broadcaster Kirsty Lang.
Ms Mason was presented with her prize at the Dundee Literary Festival.
The Other Ida follows a woman named after a hit play written by her hard-drinking mother as she returns home when the older woman succumbs to alcoholism.
Bournemouth-born writer and performer Ms Mason left school at 16 and said she was a "disaster" throughout her 20s until she was "saved" by an evening writing class aged 25.
She said: "Winning the prize is obviously completely brilliant. I entered on a whim, and cried every time I got to another stage in the competition.
"To get the novel published, and enough money to keep me writing for a year, is amazing.
"It's taken a long time to get here, but I'm delighted I can put Ida to bed in such a happy way.
"I said I'd never write another book, but have already started on the next one."