|Notes||The award ceremony was held on 23 October 1979.|
The shortlisted authors were:
Penelope Fitzgerald with the winning novel 'Offshore', published by Collins,
Thomas Keneally with 'Confederates', published by Collins,
V. S. Naipaul with 'A Bend in the River', published by Deutsch,
Julian Rathbone with 'Joseph', published by Michael Joseph, and
Fay Weldon with 'Praxis', published by Hodder & Stoughton.
The Judges were Lord (Asa) Briggs (Chair), Benny Green, Michael Ratcliffe, Hilary Spurling, and Paul Theroux.