Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 11:53 UK

New writers up for 10,000 prize

Desmond Elliott
Desmond Elliott was a well-known literary agent who died in 2003

Ten new writers, including a former debt counsellor and an indie-band drummer, have been longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize.

The £10,000 award honours debut novels published in the UK.

Author Nikita Lalwani won the inaugural prize in 2007 for Gifted, about a maths prodigy growing up in the 1980s.

Drummer Tim Thornton, who wrote The Alternative Hero, and former debt counsellor David Gaffney, for Never Never, are in the line-up.

'Depth and breadth'

Other longlisted novels include A Girl Made of Dust by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi; The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams; Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold; and Mr Toppit by Charles Elton.

Blackmoor by Edward Hogan; The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona MacLean; The Rescue Man by Anthony Quinn; and Little Gods by Anna Richards, round out the list.

The judges, chaired by author Candida Lycett Green, are looking for "a novel of depth and breadth" that is "vividly written and confidently realised with original and arresting characters".

A shortlist of three books will be announced on 26 May. The winner of the 2009 Desmond Elliott Prize will be announced on Wednesday 24 June at Fortnum & Mason, in London.

The prize was established in honour of publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, who died in August 2003.

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