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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
60,000 Dylan award list revealed
The six writers shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

Six young authors have been named as finalists for the first Dylan Thomas 60,000 award, the world's largest literary prize.

The shortlist includes UK authors Rachel Trezise, Nick Laird, James Scudamore and playwright Lucy Caldwell.

They are joined by American Liza Ward and Zimbabwe-based Ian Holding in the running for the prize, which will be announced in October.

The judges said they had been "blown away" by what they had read.

The six writers - all under 30 to comply with the rules of the award - have been selected from a 14-strong shortlist unveiled in July.

They fought off competition from young writers worldwide with their six books covering topics and themes ranging from racism, politics and religion to travelling and family.

EDS DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE SHORTLIST
Clockwise from top left - Rachel Trezise, Nick Laird, Mathew David Scott and Ian Holding
Lucy Caldwell - Where They Were Missed
Ian Holding - Unfeeling
Nick Laird -Utterly Monkey
James Scudamore - The Amnesia Clinic
Rachel Trezise - Fresh Apples
Liza Ward - Outside Valentine

The first winner will be announced on 27 October, the late poet Dylan Thomas' birthday.

Screenwriter and Bafta award winner Andrew Davies, chair of the judging panel, said throughout the competition the quality of the work they had seen had been outstanding.

"Although our expectations were always high from day one, we have been blown away by what we have read," said Mr Davies.

"In their works, the six finalists show maturity beyond their years but also a freshness rarely seen in more established writers.

"The fact we have received entries from all over the English-speaking world is even further credit to these young, talented people. They really are the future of creative writing."

The biennial prize was launched in Swansea and New York in 2004 on the 90th anniversary of Thomas' birth, when it was said it would be open to writers of novels, poetry, plays and travel books.

'Confident and polished'

The prize's founding chairman, Swansea-based Professor Peter Stead, came up with the idea while on a trip to Italy.

He said: "Obviously there was intense debate when it came to narrowing the books down to the shortlist, and there is undoubtedly more to come.

"All the books are confident and polished and the sheer talent of these young authors has staggered the panel."

Nick Laird who is married to the Orange Prize for Fiction winner Zadie Smith makes the shortlist for his novel Utterly Monkey, although he had also entered a short book of poetry, To A Fault.

Fellow Oxbridge graduate James Scudamore is selected for his novel The Amnesia Clinic.

Rachel Trezise, from Rhondda, wins through for her collection of short stories, Fresh Apples, while Zimbabwean-based schoolteacher Ian Holding is shortlisted for his first novel, Unfeeling.

American Liza Ward, Outside Valentine, and Belfast-born playwright Lucy Caldwell, Where They Were Missed, are the youngest writers to make the final, aged 25 years.




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"I think it's going to be an important prize"



SEE ALSO
Young writers' 60,000 prize hope
21 Jul 06 |  South West Wales

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