Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 12:10 UK

Six up for 60,000 writing prize

The prize contenders (clockwise from top left): Nam Le, Caroline Bird, Edward Hogan, Dinaw Mengestu Ceridwen Dovey, Ross Roisin
The six young writers on the Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist

Six young writers in the running to win one of the world's biggest literary prizes have been revealed.

The shortlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, a biennial award to promote writing amongst young people, was unveiled in London on Tuesday.

Three of those in line for the prize are British. Writers from South Africa, Vietnam and Ethiopia are also on the shortlist for the 60,000 prize.

The overall winner will be announced in Swansea in November.

The prize was inspired by the Swansea-born poet whose first book of poetry was published when he was just 21.

The global award is open to any work, from any genre, which has been published in English.

Dylan Thomas
Ross Raisin from London - God's Own Country
South African Ceridwen Dovey - Blood Kin
Derby-born Edward Hogan - Blackmoor
Caroline Bird, 21, from Leeds - Trouble Came to the Turnip
Nan Le from Vietnam - The Boat
Ethiopian journalist and novelist Dinaw Mengestu - Children of the Revolution

Hay Literary Festival director Peter Florence, the chair of the judges, said they were confident "this will be a vintage year that may produce a winner worthy of Dylan Thomas."

"The judging of the shortlist was a pleasure, we all came to it with very different tastes and areas of experience," he said.

"The prize honours one of the greatest and most youthful 20th Century talents, so the bar is set very high."

The six were selected from a long list of books covering a range of issues, including relationships, religion, racial prejudice and bereavement which was unveiled in July by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen at Margam in Port Talbot.

'Immensely talented'

Prize founder and one of the judges, Swansea historian and cultural critic Professor Peter Stead, said this year's list was "one of the strongest ever seen amongst any international literary prize".

The University of Wales sponsors the award and vice chancellor Professor Marc Clement described the shortlist as "particularly impressive".

He added: "It is obvious that the six finalists are immensely talented.

"The university's sponsorship of the Dylan Thomas prize is intended to allow the young writer who is awarded the 60,000 award the freedom to develop his or her skill without the financial pressures faced by so many of today's budding literary talents.

"This unique benefit makes the Dylan Thomas prize one of today's most important literary prizes."

The first award made in 2006 went to Rachel Tresize, from the Rhondda valley, for her collection of short stories, Fresh Apples.

The 2008 winner will be unveiled at a ceremony in Swansea on 10 November.

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