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Longlist revealed for £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize

Tom Horton
·2 min read
Hay Festival 2015 – Hay-On-Wye
(Ryan Phillips/PA)

Andy Charman, Rebecca Watson and Paul Mendez are among the authors who have been included on the longlist for the £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize.

Named after the literary agent and publisher Desmond Elliott, the annual prize goes to a first novel written in English and published in the UK.

Charman’s Crow Court, Watson’s Little Scratch and Mendez’s Rainbow Milk are included on the longlist.

The Manningtree Witches by AK Blakemore, Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times, How We Are Translated by Jessica Gaitan Johannesson and JA Mensah’s Castles From Cobwebs have also been included.

The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams, A Ghost In The Throat by Doireann Ni Ghriofa and Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water complete the list.

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Chair of the judges and winner of the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize Lisa McInerney said: “So we can keep literature in rude health, a writer who finds success should never pull the ladder up after herself, and this is one way for me to hold that ladder for emerging writers, to pass on the welcome and encouragement and assistance I’ve been so lucky to get from my peers.”

Peggy Hughes, programme director at the National Centre for Writing, which runs the award, said: “We’re delighted to announce a longlist that asks questions of us, with this year’s debut novels exploring themes of self-discovery and language, as well as the nuances of British history and culture through the lens of female and black experience.”

The shortlist for the award will be revealed on June 1 before the winner is announced on July 1.

Last year’s prize was won by Derek Owusu’s That Reminds Me, which was published by Stormzy’s imprint #MerkyBooks.

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