Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 11:08 UK

Debut novelists vie for 10,000 Desmond Elliott prize

Desmond Elliott
Desmond Elliott was a well-known literary agent

Ten writers, including an advertising guru and an acclaimed poet, are up for this year's Desmond Elliott Prize.

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

Author Edward Hogan won last year's prize for his novel Blackmoor, set in a fictional mining village against the backdrop of the miners' strike.

This year's nominees include advertising boss David Abbott, for The Upright Piano Player, and poet Jacob Polley for Talk of the Town.

Final shortlist

Other longlisted novels include Before the Earthquake by Maria Allen; The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry; Rupture by Simon Lelic; and The Shadow of a Smile by Kachi A. Ozumba.

The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell; Designs for a Happy Home by Matthew Reynolds; Beauty by Raphael Selbourne; and The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw, round out the list.

The prize was set up in 2007 in honour of the publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, who died in 2003.

The three-strong judging panel is chaired by writer and former fiction editor Elizabeth Buchan.

She said: "This is a truly eclectic list which ranges over time and cultures and reflects the passion and integrity of the writers.

"It is thrilling to see such a high standard, such diversity and such colour. On this showing, first-time novelists are clearly a force to be reckoned with."

William Skidelsky, books editor of the Observer, and James Daunt, founder and owner of Daunt Books in London, make up the panel.

The final shortlist of three books will be announced on 26 May, with the winner announced on 23 June at Fortnum & Mason, in London.

Print Sponsor

Author Hogan wins 10,000 prize
24 Jun 09 |  Arts & Culture
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